Title: Woman: A Collection of Short Stories
Author: V. P. Evans
Woman is a collection of short stories demonstrating the unexpected strengths that arise in women in the face of adversity. Five situations, culled from news headlines, are examined through fiction. Each story stands alone, but together they form a collective that speaks to any woman who has faced injustice. This book is also compelling reading for any woman and any man who care about the females in their lives, which speaks to the importance of the rights of females everywhere.
Author V.P. Evan’s writing style draws the reader in, even though some of the situations might seem remote, things that don’t happen here. This author demonstrates that a woman anywhere can fall victim to male-domination, especially when a female is seen as nothing more than an object for the satisfaction of prurient desires.
Cleverly crafted, each story is titled with a single letter: W-O-M-A-N. The main point is clear, that a woman can harness her inner strength, and then she can bond with others who have survived similar fates to become even stronger.
Each story takes place in a different setting spanning the globe. Told from the women’s point of view, we garner clear pictures of their situations. Although the writing technique of combining stories written in third-person with those written in first-person is a bit jarring, the storylines are easy to follow. Descriptions of cultural mores and daily practices educate us as well as flesh out the stories. Sometimes the descriptions become repetitive, with some passages seeming quite wordy. However, the overall impact is not lost, and we are left feeling immersed in each setting with a clear understanding of time, place, and circumstance.
The first three stories flow effortlessly from one to the other, each contributing to a theme of the misuse of power. The fourth story, however, falls short of the task, seeing that it describes a woman who, although in a difficult situation, has the power to walk away. That is not the case in the other instances; therefore, the fourth installment seems out of the step with the intent of the book.
The fifth story returns to a theme of the emotional and physical damage done to women by men who wield power over them. Evans vividly describes a life lived under domination, with enough reality-based information to educate us and enough creative narrative to make us care.
The length of each short story is just right, bringing each tale to a culmination without overextending the reader. The book does not preach to a cause. Instead, it provides the stories and then leaves it up to us to judge them. The power is left in our hands, a testament to the purpose of the writing.
Woman motivates us as human beings to fight injustice against women who are abused. In his stories, V.P. Evans gives voice to those who have no voice, he grants power to those who are powerless, and he offers hope when things seem hopeless. He shows us not only what is but what could be if we as a civil world society would band together to say “no more.” Just as Woman brings together a collection of stories that opens our eyes to harsh realities, it opens our hearts so that we feel compelled to do something about it.
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