The diverse characters portrayed in the stories that make up this collection, whether in flight, trapped or inexorably driven, seek transformative truths that will make them whole. Feelings of dislocation permeate the stories as each character struggles to capture what is missing in their lives, essential to them in ways even they cannot define.
The mysterious forces that shape each quest is motivated by powerful emotion at the center of which is love so uncontainable it cannot be stopped. As they seek what eludes them - some cautiously, others misguidedly, others recklessly, but none half-heartedly, their hearts reveal to them where the future lies.
In these ten stories a newly married woman finds herself competing with her husband’s love for his recently constructed dream house, a father snowbound in the western hills of Connecticut will stop at nothing to beat the elements to make his estranged daughter’s wedding in Miami, a mother discovers the compensations of dreams unfulfilled when she attempts to steer her daughter into realizing her disappointed ambitions, and in the title story, a man walks out of his life in search of answers when he learns he is the product of his mother’s forty plus year old love affair. These richly layered stories, told through diverse voices, explore love in its many mutations. Familial love, love battered and tested and betrayed, crippling obsessive love for a man or a woman or a thing, the characters seek, find, relinquish and reconcile themselves to what they cannot live without. Divided and bound to the object of their love, the characters are carried to surprising outcomes by fundamental mismatches, gender and generational disparity, and imbalances that shape helplessness and power at the core of love. A mother’s love for words, a husband’s passion for the bottle, a sculptor torn between unrequited love and the seductive properties of stone - all are defined by passion that denies and bestows what they most desire.
I loved Out of the Frame. Although they ended too soon, the delicate detail and complex depth packed into each story was exquisite. Some were raw, others poignant, all moving. And that, I submit, is what a terrific short story is meant to be. Excellent reading and writing. Highly recommended.
Christine Whitehead, author of Tell Me When It Hurts and The Rage of Plum Blossoms
Eliza Sherlock has an uncanny way of reaching down inside of her characters and exposing all of their complex desires, hopes and dreams. Whether the small incidental happenings that drive the everyday pattern of our days, or the larger events that overwhelm us and over which we have no control, this author grasps the essential core of what it means to be human and to be alive. As I read through these stories, many of which touch on our desire to love and be loved - to belong to something or someone, I felt an essential sympathy for the characters. For me reading a book is about exploring new worlds, new feelings, and about gaining insight into what it means to be a member of the human race. In this moving and sometimes troubling book, Eliza Sherlock fulfills all of my expectations of what a winning book should contain.
Felicity Harley author of Portraits and Landscape and The Burning Years to be published in April 2017 by Double Dragon Publishing