Six short stories explore love, loneliness, and the human search for connection. Each tale was at a different point in the author’s 20s, revealing how our perspectives towards such matters shift and grow.
Cassie is a neurodivergent writer. The scattered but reflective story structures also represent the inner workings of her inescapably earnest neurodivergent brain.
ABOUT THIS BOOK:
We all seek to belong somewhere. But what does it mean to really feel that sense of belonging? To feel truly connected – to our Earth, and to each other?
Wires doesn’t mind being alone when the world ends, but she’d rather be with the girl she loves. Sharon connects with others through her daydreams, even when she can’t talk to them in person. Kelly and Adam seek connection through their art, but is it at the expense of their relationship?
And somewhere, deep at the bottom of the ocean, a woman speaks to the sea and stars, as they help her remember where she belongs.
At times humorous, other times devastating, this debut collection fuses poignant poetry and honest dialogue. ‘Pretend to read…’ will leave you thinking a little deeper about how the human mind experiences and searches for connection.
Bailey described in one of her own stories exactly how I felt throughout most of this collection: "that's it! That's how it feels!" And yet just a bit farther down the page, did it again: "...even if I tried, I couldn't put you into words." In the very same story, she examines the impossibility of authenticity in art forms, so I hesitate to describe her writing in that way. But as she also points out elsewhere, "Words were not invented so we can articulate our feelings..." So I am forced to settle with "authentic" to describe the way her writing made me feel. It was the way she confronted the impossibility of describing the wonders, woes, and contradictions of the world that really struck me.
All of the stories were beautifully written, which was extremely fitting for the continuous theme of love throughout. The beauty with which she described the earth and love for it really made me stop to savor them, as did her lovely and heart-touchingly accurate descriptions of human joys and struggles. She had an artful way of interpreting the environment around her characters to reflect their feelings that also awed me.
Part of the beauty of Bailey's writing was the way she confronted sad or otherwise difficult emotions with the same tender and descriptive style. In writing loving, happy relationships she still included tension and the other challenges, but from a perspective that seems in love with every facet of life. This same appreciation was granted liberally throughout the book, in a writing style I could fall in love with and that convinced me to love life as it is too.
I would genuinely recommend this book to everyone because I think it's told in such a truthful and gorgeous voice. I think many will connect with Bailey and her characters' articulations of intense emotions.