Reviewed by Carl Delprat
by Lucy Durneen
2017. 208pp, Paperback, ISBN: 9781925227208, $24.99
This selection of short stories that makes up Wild Gestures comes from a mind filled with general knowledge and a depth of comprehension not often demonstrated. The language is silky and seductive and as a reader I was drawn in, drifting about like a leaf in a stream taking in sights, sounds and feelings. Lucy Durneen leaves the door open to her mind and as the pages pass I’m looking out of her eyes focusing and feeling the world as she describes and experiences it. Sometimes it’s a bit too much, like reading someone’s diary or perhaps rummaging through their personal belongings. That kind of intimacy can be uncomfortable. These stories can be dark and personal and take time to get used to.
The stories are peppered with facts, rich in research and thoroughly convincing. As a writer I can see the groundwork, the foundations, and the intricate detailsexpertly connected and then finally polished. It is not often that a reader is allowed such freedom to immerse oneself in the psyche of another writer’s musings. The further I read the stronger the entrapment, escape is impossible as this is a dance through life’s dark chapters and Lucy is leading the way.
Wild Gestures is not a fast read. Occasionally I had to place this book somewhere and leave it for a day or two to gain space. Perhaps it’s my age? Perhaps it reminds me of a distilled rendition of many decades of experiences, some of which had never eventuated. The materials used on Lucy’s canvas could be too explicit, too ironic, and maybe too disturbing to deal with too much at once. Each story is intense enough on its own, and crowding it with another would not do it justice.
Wild Gestures is a book to be savoured like a scent: breathe in each fragrance and inhale the elation, the experience and the atmosphere. The aptly named Wild Gestures is an exceptionally well written book by a very talented author.
About the reviewer: Carl Delprat is a prolific storyteller. His home is the Australian coastal city of Newcastle, New South Wales. Find his books at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CarlDelprat