The Language of Dying
ISBN 9781906301828 (Trade Hardcover)
88 pages $16 USD/10 GBP
Review by Kent Knopp-Schwyn
Beautiful, haunting, lyrical, painful and unforgettable are just a few of the words that partially describe the emotions and skill brought to bear in The Language of Dying. A review, by its nature, will not truly do justice to this wonderful tale or to Ms. Pinborough’s fine writing skills brought to bear in this excellent selection by PS Publishing since a review reduces the narrative to the bare bones story of a fractured and highly dysfunctional family converging on the old homestead as the patriarch lays dying with a hint of the supernatural thrown into the mix.
The Language of Dying is much more than that, however; it is an affirmation of the spirit, the will and the determination of broken children overcoming obstacles in order to succeed; It’s a highlight reel of the terrible traps one can fall into when coming from a severely dysfunctional family; It’s a tale of familial love and parental bonds and the pain that occurs when the love stretches too thin and the bonds snap violently. More than this, The Language of Dying is a tale of the fragility of the human spirit and how the walls set up to protect an inner core of peace an tranquility can shatter in the face of death and family tragedy. And it is the story of individuals facing the consequences after those internal ramparts come tumbling down. Each family member in this amazing story must sift through their own worldview to find what is left for them and how they are to face a new reality with psyche exposed to a harsh and unforgiving world?
Horror abounds as the narrative unfolds but not in the form of boogey men or supernatural entities. Rather, horror is found in the harsh pain of lost love, the cruel punishment of a world stomping down personal ambition and in the terrible trap people set for themselves when stifling their dreams. The reader finishes The Language of Dying moved, changed, and awed my Ms. Pinborough’s skill.