The Lights Went Out and Other Stories
Taking the ordinary and everyday, Ms Hogan weaves her fictions around seemingly unexciting people and commonplace occurrences, creating recognisable and occasionally extraordinary stories, that reflect the feelings and obsessions we all encounter from time to time.
From the petty arguments and disagreements in ‘Table By the Window’ and ‘Soul Mates’, to the scarily real ‘Murder in the Mail Centre’ and the all-too-familiar marital un-bliss in ‘Choking’, the author dips into lives that have something to say, though the observations of her characters are often proverbial rather than insightful.
This is an interesting assortment of stories, including flash fiction and a few longer tales, and as with most short story collections, there are a few that stand out and a few that don’t. In ‘Darkling’ for instance, the writing is at times quite beautiful, almost poetic in its forms, whereas in ‘The Welcoming Committee’ the ending was obvious almost from the start. My general impression is that some stories have been worked on more than others and this is clear in the quality and intelligence of the writing.
Fiona Cooke Hogan is a talented author and I’d be interested to see more of her work. Her Rather Long Short Story ‘What Happened In Dingle’ is out now.