How Much the Heart Can Hold (3 stars)

Short story collection is a pleasingly mixed bag

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How Much the Heart Can Hold

This collection of short stories is far from the mush-fest its title suggests. Instead, it's a commendably varied series of commissions from publishers Sceptre, who are using How Much the Heart Can Hold as a platform for the Sceptre Short Story Competition (the winner gets a cash prize and their story published in the paperback edition).

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's opener 'Before it Disappears' is a stark, unromantic snapshot of a young marriage coming to its end, and Bernadine Evaristo's 'The Human World' closes with an expansive, sad look at the world's ills.

But its strongest entries are sandwiched in the middle. 'Codas' by Carys Bray (A Song for Issy Bradley, The Museum of You) is a deeply touching look at family love across generations; 'Magdala, Who Slips' from Donal Ryan (The Spinning Heart) is a haunting take on obsession; and 'White Wine' by Nikesh Shukla – editor of the impressive collection, The Good Immigrant – is a wonderfully nuanced snapshot of a man watching his little sister wake up to the realities of racism in modern Britain.

Out Thu 3 Nov, from Sceptre

How Much The Heart Can Hold - Live Storytelling And Short Story Competition Announcement

Waterstones TCR and Hodder are proud to annouce an evening of live storytelling in support of the launch of How Much The Heart Can Hold, a collection of original short stories from seven brilliant authors, each exploring a different concept of love - the authors include Bernadine Evaristo, Carys Bray, D.W.Wilson, Donal…

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