Review of Sleepers Awake by Christine Whittemore

A BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU to Christine Whittemore for this discerning Amazon review of my new collection of short fiction, Sleepers Awake! Christine also won the Eludia Award from Hidden River Arts for her novel, Inscription.

"Witty, wondrous, and a touch weird (in the best way)! 

I should mention that I came to know about this book because it won the Eludia Prize from Hidden River Arts the year before my own book Inscription did. But I'd never be praising it here if my admiration weren't genuine. These brilliant stories are so well written. The voices they are told in are witty, satirical, and wise. Saints and relics turn up in these stories, mixed with the nitty-gritty and pocket-lint of life; but suddenly a strange light is shed, as with the procession in a trailer park that somehow turns into a Renaissance painting for a moment….There is humour, but beneath the joking, there is depth. Riesener deploys religious themes in a modern context, and, while poking fun at our hypocrisy and silliness over religion, she also reminds us that these ideas are interwoven into our culture, and won't go away, and may in fact still have something important to tell us. She does this with a light touch that makes it all the more effective. I think it is so hard to talk about religion at all in the current intellectual climate, and she has found a brilliant way to approach it and weave it in to her characters' lives, but always seen at that oblique, off-beat angle. I must stress that the mention of "religion" should not scare anyone off; even readers who don't have any religious background or interests will find these stories funny, interesting, humane, and damned good writing."

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