Sacrificial Lambs and Others
Reviewed by Elaine Pascale
There is a real skill involved in writing flash fiction. Every word counts, character arcs need to be crystal clear, and titles mean a lot. Sheri White could teach a master class on flash fiction as seen in her book, Sacrificial Lambs and Others. The book includes both her flash fiction and her short stories. She is a skilled story teller, and I was very impressed with the flash pieces.
She had me at the first line of the first story “The Bridge:” ‘Sandy Point Beach was the perfect spot to watch the mothers throw their newborn baby boys from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.’ Many of the flash pieces deftly combined humor with horror and had nice twists like in “Rescue,” “Train Station,” and “A Day at the Sea Park.” As I read, I craved illustrations to accompany the minimalist stories—that would have been the icing on the cake and might be an idea for a second edition.
The short stories were well written. “The Storm People” had a great rhythm with suspense that built just like a storm. Other notable stories included the very creepy (pun intended) “Spider Bites,” the titular “Sacrificial Lambs,” and the grief-filled “The Lying Dead.” Many of the stories dealt with grief and longing and those emotions were a nice accompaniment to the horror contained in the plots.
I highly recommend Sacrificial Lambs and Others. The stories are entertaining, and I found that once I started reading, I was compelled to continue. Before each story, Sheri White shares the inspiration and, at times, frustration, of achieving the perfect form for the tale. Writers of any genre would be able to relate to and learn from her experiences. This book would be enjoyed by any fan of the genre and by fans of good writing in general.