Published: 15/07/2017
ISBN: 9781788032582
Format: Paperback

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Lost Lives, Tales and Fancies
by Ernie Savage

When someone is, as the French say 'd'un certain âge' there is a temptation to look back with mingled regret or sorrow at the course that events have taken.

For the most part of the characters in Lost Lives take the opposite view. In Liberty the death of Dorothy's tyrannical mother enables her, unlike her contemporaries to realise her freedom. A not dissimilar theme characterises Salvation where the happily married Anne comes to 'count her blessings' in surprising circumstances. In Abe Robinson, Paul discovers that the delights of adultery are illusory, although in Fourteen Angels, Helen accepts her husband's bigamy. Jennie in Bear Encounter hopes for adultery, but finds that it is impossible. The rather naive Susan of the Travellers on a Train is not even aware of what the bullying Kerrian imagines as her life. She too is content with her lot.

Aunt Marian in the New Testament is overjoyed to meet her great great nephew which effects some sort of reconciliation for a wrong done eighty years earlier. This has a rather 'churchy' theme, as does Ash Wednesday, where a young Catholic man finds the keeping of Lenten fast difficult. Saint Peter's Day with its rather ironic ending is the only one of the stories set in a specific locality, Whitby, and it slips in time from the sixteenth century to the present day. With Curzon Road and They Shall Grow Old the central character, named as George in the latter story recalls his past, although in They Shall Grow Old he does seem to want to change something. We are left uncertain as to what he will do tomorrow. In Shangri-La, tomorrow is when we would learn if Aunt Elizabeth was really psychic, or merely a good historical researcher.

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