I love short stories. They are the perfect fix when you cannot devote time to an entire novel. Early on I cut my teeth on the quick reads of O. Henry, but wow, this collection of short stories by Porter was anything but light and fluffy. Each story included in Pale Horse, Pale Rider deals with death and disappointment. As explained in the forward of the book, the title is borrowed from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Pale Rider representing death. Katherine Anne Porter has included in this collection three gripping tales of people driven to the brink of despair. The characters reactions differ from story to story, ranging from denial, to quiet resignation to suicide. My favorite of the three was Noon Wine, but I suggest you read all three and compare them. Her writing is beautiful, rich and thought provoking. With very few words, Porter gives life to her characters and you understand and care about them immediately, a skill difficult to accomplish in a short story. She writes in that early 20th Century style that I love, and if you too enjoy books of that era, do read Pale Horse, Pale Rider.
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Amanda Hughes, author of Historical Adventures blogs about her reading, her writing, her appearances and even a few recipes!