In this book author Joyce Faulkner treats us to a breathtaking and eclectic collection of short stories. They range from the complexity of dealing with the challenge of modern day relationships to seduction, betrayal, murder, and revenge, from the mundane to the afterlife and the supernatural, from individuals fighting to bring to the surface the trauma in their lives and come to terms with it, to those hiding terrible secrets: this book has it all.
The stories are well written and very engaging. A few are shocking in their brutal honesty and others shy away from a "happy ending." A character asks in the story "The Menagerie", "Whoever said life was fair?" another character declares in the story "Unforgivable", “Sometimes there are no good choices...only a bunch of bad ones." Often the best we can hope for is resolution and closure, and that is what many of these stories are about.
Some of the stories are structured around individuals coming to grips with feelings. Dealing with a estranged family including an ill mother (Winding Down), with the memory of an abusive father (Unforgivable), with being overweight and self esteem (Fattie Mattie), with the death of a relative (Empty House) and with returning home after war (Just Hold Me). Particularly heartbreaking and painful to read was "Infinity", where women deal with rape and its aftermath.
The stories "Lilith" and "One Chittendon Drive" deal with classical monsters while others like "Chance" and the title story "Losing Patience" deal with perhaps the most complex, terrifying, and least understood of all monsters: ourselves.
Among my favorites are: "The Brafferton", where two warriors from different ages and realms share their stories with each other. "Elizabeth Rose", where the perfect punishment for a bigot is dispensed. The humorous "Rubber Dome", where a widow decides to reactivate her sex life in a very matter of fact way but with an unforeseen result, and "In my Fashion", where a woman receives an unusual gift.
My only qualms about the book are a glitch with my copy that prevented me from navigating directly to the table of contents and another glitch where the first page of each story was displayed without the title upon clicking the table of contents. However, these did not detract from the experience of reading the book.
This book is not a "light read", it will not distract you from real life, rather it will propel you into the thick of things and make you think. If this is your mindset, then Joyce Faulkner's "Losing Patience" is the book for you.