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Harables: Short Stories I by Haidji

Haidji, the author of Suicide Game, combines her flair for philosophy and prose to offer readers a collection of short stories called Harables.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

As the title indicates, Harables are parables; stories that use human characters to convey lessons or principles. Haidji hints at the story that will unfold by prefacing each short story with a quote from the story. Not only do these hints give readers a glimpse of what is to come, but they also pique readers' interests to see how the quote fits into the upcoming story.

True to the book's summary that promises, "Every reader will have their own favourites..." I have a few favorites in this collection:

"One Euro" begins with a car accident at 3 A.M. that is witnessed by two people. Caroline, a doctor, rushes to the car to see if she can save the couple that is trapped in the vehicle. Amanda, an eight-year old girl that is running away from an abusive home, helps Caroline pull the couple out of the car and faints. Looking at Amanda, Caroline remembers a time when she was around Amanda's age; she did not have money for lunch, and asked a friend's mother for one Euro. The friend's mother gave Caroline two Euros, and told her not to worry about paying her back.

After seeing the bruises on Amanda, Caroline suspects the reason why Amanda is on the street so early in the morning. When the paramedics arrive at the scene of the accident, she allows them to think that Amanda was a passenger in the car and sees that Amanda is taken to the hospital. At the hospital, Caroline does not correct the staff when they say that Amanda's parents are dead and gives the nurse two Euros to buy something for Amanda.

"Freedom" is a story about a young woman, Emma, who is leaving the nest to attend college and is moving into her own place. Being used to living at home, she realizes that she has taken many things for granted: a refrigerator full of food, the presence of her mother and brother, clean clothes. While her mother has provided her with a weeks' worth of these things, Emma soon realizes that with freedom comes responsibility. Emma's mother anticipates that she may come to this realization a little late, and has left Emma something to help.

"The Invisible Girl - A Christmas Tale" is about a 4-year old girl that wants a doll castle for Christmas. She wants to ask Santa for a doll castle; however, her sister wants a doll house. Since her sister feels that Santa will not grant both wishes, she convinces the little girl to sacrifice her wish for a doll castle so that she can have her doll house. The little girl makes Santa an offer that is hard to refuse; she will give up her wish for a doll castle so that her sister can get a doll house for Christmas. Santa grants her sister's wish, and makes a promise of his own to the little girl.

With her flair for philosophy and wonderfully descriptive details, Haidji creates stunning and thought-provoking short stories that capture readers' attention. While each story has one obvious moral, readers who take the time to read between the lines and reflect upon the stories will discover that these stories offer more than one lesson.

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I have read collections of short stories before; what I find intriguing about Harables is that Haidji manages to evoke different emotions with each of her stories; some are whimsical, others are hopeful and heartbreaking, and some are intriguing and in-depth. Each story has a different tone, and each story showcases Haidji's rich and evocative writing style.

Harables by Haidji is a beautifully written book. Haidji brings characters to life with exquisitely detailed descriptions; there is truly something for everybody in this book!

To learn more about Haidji and her art, visit her blog where she shares quotes from Harables and her other works; also, if you sign up to receive her newsletter she writes short stories for her followers.

If you are on Facebook and want to connect with Haidji, head on over to her page and "like" it.