Tori Bond’s Familyism: A Review by Ayesha F. Hamid

Family means different things to different people, and Author, Tori Bond, explores the vagarities and variances of family in her debut, flash-fiction collection, Familyism. Whether her stories consist of children spending time in nature and performing plays or townspeople, sitting in a bar and dreaming of a way out, Bond is able to create entire worlds with a sparsity of words. Bond perfectly captures the essence of the mundane as well as the extraordinary; she immerses us in the surreal and magical but keeps us rooted through her skillful exploration of human emotion. The author has the unique ability to make the reader feel deeply; her stories are crafted with care and are guaranteed to fill the reader with wonder. The powerful endings of each story will leave readers mesmerized.

Bond uses her ability to make the reader laugh, but Familyism goes beyond simply being funny; Familyism is equally sad and profound and joyful. While reading, I found that the veins of isolation, loneliness, and the yearning for escape crashing over me like a wave. Characters experience the loneliness of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the settings of the stories don’t offer characters an escape – Again, the reader is drawn into a world of powerful emotion. Regardless of the intensity of feeling Familyism elicits, Bond masterfully balances emotion through her well-timed use of narration and humor. 

I highly recommend Familyism; It is not just a book, it is an experience! The book is a quick read, and the stories flow easily. The book will make you laugh, and you will be moved. You will ponder, question, and reminisce. This book could make you laugh out loud, so I don’t recommend reading it in public.

“Escalate” by Caroline Sipio — THE CITY KEY

I. The escalator pulls me above ground, a maudlin monotony of movement that cycles tens hundreds thousands of times a day. I wait for the moment the ridges of the moving stairwell will halt the tips of my boots so I can fall on my face. What would it be like to have strangers walk […]

via “Escalate” by Caroline Sipio — THE CITY KEY

 

“After the Bars Close” by John Grey — THE CITY KEY

Lonely men interrupt the dark with the snap of shoes on sidewalk. Skyscrapers just got taller, more empty. Traffic thins like blood on heparin. Solemn as a monks’ processional is the way home. But with frog-sac croaks in lieu of chanting. John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. Recently published in New Plains […]

via “After the Bars Close” by John Grey — THE CITY KEY

 

“Saved from Summer” by Ayesha F. Hamid

She welcomed the end
of summer’s oppression,
the pressure under, over, everywhere
having cooked her from within.

In summer, the sun weighed
down, disheartening from dreams,
while the wandering, distracted mind
meandered, wished to be someplace else,
wished to be free, somewhere else
where she was listened to, was esteemed,
someplace else where she never had to fear
being suspect for being something
less than ideal. That place she wanted to welcome
on hot skin like a perfectly cool breeze.