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Book: Donkey Boy and Other Stories by Mary Smith

Book: Donkey Boy and Other Stories by Mary Smith

categories: Book, Thought-Provoking, Contemporary Fiction, Strong Women, Empathic Characters, Humour & Pathos, Mental Health, Disability, Identity Issues, Short Stories


Mary Smith

Author Mary Smithabout this book: This collection of stories takes the reader to a variety of locations from urban Pakistan to rural Scotland; from a care home today to a 19th century travelling circus. Although it is a slim volume, the stories touches on many themes including third world poverty, mental health, disability, identity and loss of dreams – but does so lightly and the characters provide flashes of humour.

Readers meet the Pakistani boy Ali, whose father is too poor to send him to school. Instead, he drives his father's donkey cart. The day a foreigner gives him a large tip leaves Ali facing a moral dilemma. An adopted girl living in Scotland struggles with questions of identity. George, stuck in the kind of residential home we all dread to find ourselves in provides an amusing monologue about the battle over his socks.

Apart from Trouble with Socks, other pieces in the collection – Asylum Seekers and The Thing in Your Eye – were also written as monologues for performance. I very much enjoy the monologue format and the way it allows the writer to make the reader wonder just how reliable the narrator is.

Donkey Boy & Other Stories has received some lovely reviews on Amazon and on review sites.

• "Mary Smith manages to convey clear and distinct voices for each of her brilliant characters, from a Pakistani boy to an elderly Scottish woman. What I liked so much about every one of them is at I felt I knew them instantly and understood them completely but without the author imposing her own judgement on them as they make their way through life." — Linda's Book Bag

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