Friday 11 September 2020

Review by Laura Besley of "This Alone Could Save Us" by Santino Prinzi


          What would be lost if the moon were to disappear, how ordinary the sky might be
          without it.
- Santino Prinzi

The moon features heavily in Santino Prinzi’s flash fiction collection, This Alone Could Save Us. Sometimes a recurring character, always a metaphor for each of the powerful stories in this collection, the moon is steady, looming large above us, but also pulling away at a pace that is imperceptible to the naked eye. It’s in these gentle shifts that Prinzi’s stories shine.   

The first and last stories of the collection act as bookends, almost mirroring each other. At the beginning of the collection, people are desperate: ‘When we realise the moon is shifting away, we beg it not to go. We vow we can change. ’ By the end, this desperation is intensified, but has turned against the moon: ‘Following the will of the people, the government decide to nuke the moon .… Some people believe the moon is the source of all their worldly problems and it’d be for the best if the moon was gone.’ Prinzi’s layered messages in 'The Moon is a Foreign Body, We Can No Longer Trust It' shine as bright as a full moon on a clear night. 

This is a fabulous collection, exploring a range of emotions and situations. There is hope for Louise and her fourth husband, Edwin, who find their way back to each other in 'It Sometimes Snows in April' and the boy who is finally freed from his mother’s snapping in 'How to Make the Magic Work'; sadness for Clyde in 'Bonsai and Clyde,' and something in between for the characters in the title story. Highly recommend. 

About the reviewer
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, as well as in print and in various anthologies. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. You can read a review of it here. She tweets @laurabesley.

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