FOR THE LOVE OF MEAT combines whimsical and surreal illustrations with engaging, intimate encounters that explore the depths of human experience. Unique and diverse in setting, with touches of magical-realism, these nine stories will tug at the wandering, romantic heart, setting it delightfully ablaze.
In Wander the Desert, Sister Aurelia, a nun from the early 20th century, finds herself stranded in the Mexican desert with nothing but a few cobs of corn and a stray horse who becomes her faithful companion. In Stumble and Fall, we meet Dara, a young Londoner hungry for adventure who, unwilling to settle for the safety and comfort of home, travels to Vancouver, city of immigrants, where a handsome stranger entices her to take a leap into the unknown. The Kid takes us to Granada, Spain, to the fix-it shop of Rubén, and his encounters with a young traveler, whose flirtations spark memories of a past love that both haunts and hinders him. The Two explores the tender bond between two young cousins, growing up in 1940s Philadelphia, who are as inseparable as light and shadow.
Jenny Jaeckel’s compelling storytelling takes us across the world and through the ages, with remarkable insight and soul-moving moments Her language, imagery and attention to detail plunge the reader into these memorable lives, soaking us in tales of adventure, courage, love, loss, longing and all the hope in between.
For the Love of Meat by Jenny Jaeckel
Publication Date: June 20, 2016 by Raincloud Press
The stories in this collection offer a brief glimpse into people’s lives that span both time and place. The Teteriv takes place in 15th century Poland while other stories like The Kid (Grenada, Spain in 1995) and the title story, For the Love of Meat (Los Angeles, CA in 1981) are much more contemporary.
As the book’s summary states, Jaeckel’s collection of short stories explore human experience through narrations that although short and often abrupt, are very personal. While each story may connect through this one specific theme, Jaeckel manages to tell nine unique tales and so there is definitely a strong sense of diversity when reading this collection.
While I enjoyed all nine stories, Stumble and Fall really stood out from all the others to me, most likely because I can relate to the character’s wanderlust and longing for change. Because of the vast span of time and location that Jaeckel writes about within this collection, it’s easy for the reader to find a particular storyline to connect to, and because of how diverse each short story is, it’s no wonder that I was able to find one specific experience that I could feel I related to. If this was part of Jaeckel’s intent when writing this collection, she clearly achieved her goal!
Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read and I would recommend it to those who can appreciate a collection of stories that manages to celebrate diversity while also demonstrating how truly alike people can be despite where they come from or what they look like.