So since I know the author, I feel obliged/coerced into giving it five stars since a friendship may be on the line here... Just kidding. Kent should know I'm known for some brutal honesty.
Where to begin?
First of all, if you're looking for a happy-go-lucky read, this isn't it. Unless you plan on just reading "A Carrot Seeking Freedom", that is.
There is a great sense of sadness to nearly every tale in this collection, be it from the portrait artist who no longer paints lies and loses his custom, the seemingly burned out private eye Rusty Halo, the absolutely heartbreaking Only Mine or Sparrow, the lonely caretaker of a circus. Each character comes alive with the emotional baggage they carry.
This isn't to say the book is all doom and gloom though, there's the somewhat darkly comic Eyebridge (at least I found the young policeman's over-active imagination a tiny bit amusing), the success of Vortigern Jones and his associates in a less than reputable business and even Sam's final escape in Never Seen The Sky go to show that this author can be a little more humane with her characters, allowing them small victories in the ever growing symphony of bad luck.
Content aside, Kent also shows a well versed lexicon which she uses to weave these tales together, seamlessly, her description, full of striking detail, really pulls you in to believing each word you read.
A wonderfully talented young lady has shared her imagination with us and I for one am truly grateful of it! I look forward to reading more of Ruty's adventures when her follow up, "Doors" is released upon us.
Keep an eye out for the name Sinead Kent, at the moment it sits between Aldous Huxley and Ken Kesey on my bookshelf and it looks quite comfortable.