Literary Fiction

The Dog Stays and Other Stories

Category:Literary Fiction

Author:Marjan Sierhuis

  • Publisher: Iguana Books
  • Publication Date: February 21, 2023
  • Number of Pages: 82
  • ISBN-10: 1771806133
  • ISBN-13: 9781771806138

Marjan Sierhuis’s collection of short stories, The Dog Stays and Other Stories, is a gorgeous treat that captures experiences woven with empathy, humor, and profound insight. Through diverse narratives, Sierhuis explores themes of love, loss, resilience, and relationships, leaving readers captivated and deeply moved. Each story feels like a cookie, and the author’s economy of words and the ability to condense situations into a few paragraphs are remarkable. In “Flame,” readers are transported into the inner conflict of a dragon facing human prejudice. At the same time, “Please Stay” delicately portrays the emotional turmoil of impending loss and the uncertainty of life without a loved one. These stories exemplify Sierhuis’s ability to explore the depths of human emotions sensibly.

Humor intertwines with warmth and insight in tales like “The Masked Bandit” and “The Huntress;” meanwhile, “The Herd Waits” and “Southbound” celebrate the bonds of friendship and connection that endure despite adversity. Sierhuis’s skillful storytelling extends to holiday-themed narratives, such as “Mrs. Claus Needs a Vacation” and “Darby's Christmas Wish,” which infuse the season's magic with heartwarming messages of generosity and joy. These stories, along with others like “Crispy Fish and Chips” and ‘A Whirligig,” showcase the author’s versatility in crafting narratives that range from whimsical to deeply poignant.

Throughout the collection, characters come alive with authenticity and depth, drawing readers into their lives and inviting reflection on their experiences. Whether exploring the tender moments of aging together in “Beloved” or the challenges of caregiving in “Cut and Tie,” Sierhuis’s characters resonate with universal truths about the human condition. In The Dog Stays and Other Stories, Marjan Sierhuis is a master storyteller and entertainer, deftly examining human experience with compassion and grace. I enjoyed every short story in this wide selection; any reader will find something to enjoy in these pages.

Reviewed By: Cristina Prescott

Reviewed Date: March 26, 2024

Category: Literary Fiction