… the anthology isn’t slavishly devoted to its theme; it has the freedom to take off on tangents and flights of fancy. Love is treated as a springboard rather than an anchor to hold the anthology in place.
‘Monsieur Fromage’ by Rosalind Stopps. As the title may imply, that last one features a man selling cheeses, but it still manages to be a touching story of a marriage inevitably collapsing inwards despite the desperate desire to stay together.
Lovers’ Lies, as a collection of love stories, doesn’t neglect the realm of high romance either. Co-editor Cherry Potts provides a story with overtones of Tennyson and epic loves played out across a lifetime in the surprisingly small and closed world of neighbouring farming estates. ‘Mirror’ takes place with the First World War in the distance, but able to act only as a sideshow to the real conflicts and dramas playing out in rural England and in the hearts of two men.
The final, redemptive twist of Jason Jackson’s ‘A Time and Place Unknown’, the last, sci-fi, entry in Lovers’ Lies, leaves the anthology with a final note of optimism. It ends by letting us believe that love is a force for good and that it can overcome time, space and perhaps even death itself.
Over the course of its 138 pages Lovers’ Lies shows both the darker side of love and the way it brings out the best in us. If that was the intention of the Arachne Press editors, then they’ve done a fine job.
Quite cheered up Monday morning, which was going pretty well already – breakfast in the garden, and an hour of ripping bindweed off the fence before settling to the computer.
Cherry Potts is reading tonight Monday 8th July 7.30 onwards at Brixton Book Jam, at The Hootananny in Effra Road. so if you don’t already have a copy of Lovers’ Lies, come along and pick one up there, you can get it signed!