When you are told you only have a few months to live, it doesn’t really matter what age you are, self-reflection becomes an imperative. In Go You Are Sent Forth, Berenice, a retired nun, is in exactly this position and she reflects on a life of sacrifice and stoicism. She decides to live her last months differently and sets out to experience some of those things she’s long denied herself.
Felicity Volk treats this emotionally complex subject matter with delicacy and bravery. Her characters are vividly drawn, as are their surroundings. We understand Berenice’s journey as much as we understand her friend Mary’s lack of understanding. Go, You Are Sent Forth is a beautiful story told with compassion and understanding by a skilled writer.
Go, You Are Sent Forth is one in a series of 12 longish short stories in the Amanda Lohrey Selects series. Each story sells for a measly 99 cents (or you can buy the whole bundle for ten bucks). At first I have to admit that even a digital advocate like me set out reading this story wishing it was on paper. If I had a printer, I think I would have printed it. My screen is large and overwhelming to read text on at times, and of course the screen feels like work, not pleasure. I wanted to hold a slim volume in my hands and settle back on the couch. But what I found was that this length of story actually worked surprisingly well in ebook format. The story is long enough that you feel you’ve really been taken into another world, but not so long that reading it on the screen felt arduous. If you are thinking about ebooks but not sure it’s your cup of tea, I’d suggest starting with Go, You Are Sent Forth – for a 99 cent investment you can get a taste of the medium without much commitment in time or money.
Who would I recommend this to? Lovers of short story and anyone wanting to dip their toe into ereading.
Click here to buy Go, You Are Sent Forth, or the whole series.