Ms. Ali Cat's Reviews > Sudden Traveler: Stories

Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall
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I received this ARC from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Sudden Traveler is a beautiful collection of short stories interwoven by the delicately threaded narrative that speaks the language of feminine identity. Each story is an exploration of the essence of female embodiment. Not focusing on sex as gender but rather the classification, agency, violation, sorority, disambiguate, and celebration of what makes a being a woman.

These short stories range in tone by the narrator of each tale. Written in a way that a mother might tell her daughter or a sister to her own; every story is told as one would hear them mouth to ear. Spoken. Some of the voices are broken and distant as they describe the defilement of their innocence. Other voices burn with fervor as the woman is forged into a weapon of her defense. And some are the soft murmurs of affection, if not acceptance.

‘The greatest betrayal of all is to disaffiliate.'

Hall has created a council and sisterhood in Sudden Traveler. Sometimes we are crushed beneath the boot of the world we are born to and the only saving grace is knowing that those who were walked on before us know the way to survive. In these lovely accounts, one woman might learn the lesson but she is a symbol for each of us, and each of these women's suffering and joys are that of all women. This collection highlights the fact that we women don't keep our secrets to save ourselves, we share them to save others.

‘...I am not this; she could tell him everything, or nothing because the present is in each millionth moment remade and unstoppable, forgiveness, war, cause, cure, all moments, all selves, possible.'

Each of these anecdotes is uniquely random but universal. As a female reader, I can sense that these characters are people I have known or who I could understand becoming. Sometimes I am the voyeur of the life I might once have lead. While other times I am so deeply sunken into the bland anonymity of rote motion that I become a victim of my own sense of contentment. I could easily be or become an Ara or a Dilly.

‘We are all sudden travelers in the world, blind, passing each other, reaching out, missing, sometimes taking hold.'

This book is beautiful. I highly recommend it. If you enjoy these stories I suggest you also check out Anatomy by Simon Travers; it is a collection of stories and poems expressing the beauty of unflinching intimacy.

Anatomy
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Reading Progress

October 21, 2019 – Started Reading
October 21, 2019 – Shelved
October 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

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