On the Other Side by Jessica Marie Holt

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

On The Other Side by Jessica Marie Holt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Kevin’s elderly neighbor, Mr. Jones, always has trouble getting into his apartment. So Kevin helps Mr. Jones open his front door in On the Other Side by author Jessica Marie Holt.

A short story. A few pages. About ten minutes of reading time.

Not that I want to preach a sermon on various story forms, here. But this ten-minute tale is a prime example of how a story’s significance is absolutely not a direct equivalent of the story’s length. Short form fiction writing is an art, and while not every author has a knack for getting a complete and compelling message across in just a few well-chosen words, this author does.

What this account about Kevin and Mr. Jones doesn’t say is as important as what it says. Choice tidbits about these two men’s lives and the simple but indicative nature of their brief exchanges tell us enough without expounding on or spelling out every detail for us.

I would that more writers understood the value of trusting a reader’s intelligence and imagination. The power of what’s left unsaid.

Having read this author before, I should’ve known to be prepared with Kleenex. All the little parts that pierced me led to tears running down my face as I finished this poignant and inspiring read.


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