Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Short Story Review: Legend of the Mountain Ash by Ruth Sims

Reviewed by Alan Chin
Published by Untreed Reads Publishing
Pages: 14

This poignant story starts with these two sentences: There are places in this world where magic and miracles meet, and when they do a legend is born. This is the story of one such legend, and how it came to be.

This simple yet beautiful opening blossoms into a tale of how Ethan and Davey meet in an army hospital during the World War II, after Ethan was brought there courtesy of a German bayonet. It then describes a growing love as the British lad, Davey, nurses the American solider back to health, a love as tender as a young shoot, but with roots growing deep in fertile soil.

Davey follows his lover back to America and they settle in a farming community, but bigotry from the townsfolk forces them to move on. They search for a place where they can live, free to express their love openly, so as to let it grow strong, and toughen into something that neither people nor time could destroy. In the Appalachian hills, they found such a place, a place where magic and miracles meet. The Legend of the Mountain Ash is, as so many legends are, a story of love and loss, sacrifice and redemption.

Sometimes the simplest stories are the most powerful. Such is the case with this tale, and under Ruth Sims’s skillful hand, this story also blends beauty and grace with that power, and she adds a dash fanciful magic to create an inner journey for the reader, a passage that leads to a bittersweet joy. As the lovers scratch out a life for themselves in this backwoods paradise (a reflection of their love), stone by stone, stick by stick, crop by crop, they also build a structure within the heart and mind of the reader.

The characters will pull at your heartstrings. The enchanting prose will tickle your whimsical soul. The ending, although somewhat predictable, will charm and sadden and uplift. This is one of those rare stories that is felt. And long after you put it down, you will continue to feel it, because it will awaken something in you, at least it did for me. I can highly recommend this story to all readers.

To read more about this story/author go to http://www.ruthsims.com/

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