“Layers” by Zuzanne Belec

When I tried to remember the last time I read short stories, I realised that it was about ten years ago, and it was a collection of short stories by Guy de Maupassant. I remembered how many thoughts those stories, written about one hundred and fifty years ago, evoked in me. The same happened when I was reading Zuzanne Belec’s short stories collection “Layers”.

The stories’ settings and characters are different, what connects them is life as it is. But life is multi-layered and versatile; it consists of happy and sad moments in equal share. All of this is reflected in Zuzanne Belec’s work.

The author captures brilliantly the feeling of the moment the characters of each short story live through. I felt acutely the enveloping haze of tiredness from sleepless nights a father of a baby feels. I felt the numbness from the arctic cold a man trapped outside in a blizzard feels, as well as the strange clarity of thoughts that doesn’t let him give up.

Every short story in “Layers” could be developed into a full novel, but at the same time, each felt complete.

This well-written collection has left me with many thoughts, and for me, this is the best thing a book can give its readers.

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