“2009” is a short story, based on true events, that reads a little bit like a diary – a collection of anecdotal events, expressions of emotion and poetry. As a whole, the work overcomes its initial awkwardness and touches on deep topics from less examined points of view.
We are taken along on a tumultuous year in a journalist’s life, including the loss of loved ones, exciting career opportunities, and dilemmas of morality and self-care.
The collection as a whole comes out as a poignant exploration of a life changing year. Despite the dark subject matter of many events, the author manages to reveal perspectives showing the positives to be gained by facing the darkness, and the silver linings that make our lives more than drab misery.
A couple Australian English conventions made me pause, and there were a few points, particularly early on, where the wording felt awkward, contributing to a disjointed, slapped together feel. However, by the end of the reading, the conversational style unified the jumble of parts in an uplifting way. Also, I found the reveal at the end disturbing, which eroded some of the positive take away for me, but many readers may not take exception as I did, so I will not specify it here.
Although I don’t necessarily agree with the message given by certain actions, and the story has a haphazard feel to it, “2009” still manages to serve as an example of how there is always light to be found in the darkest times, and is, in my opinion, a worthwhile inspirational-type read.
Amanda King, Oct 2020