If you are looking for a collection of stories that touch the heart and soul, I recommend Memory Wall-Stories, by Anthony Doerr.
Each story is unique, and not connected to the others, as far as characters. Yet, there is a soulful connection within them that spans the thousands of miles between their locations.
The stories speak of memory and how our memories hold life within them. My favorite story (actually a novella) is entitled “Memory Wall”. It is about an old woman, losing her memory, and a young boy who captures her memories. The story encompasses the positive aspects of keeping memories alive. Through memories, those we hold dear remain with us, and their lives are not forgotten. The young boy exhibits redemption, through sensitive and poignant visuals. His final act is heart-warming and speaks of life’s beauty.
From a seed keeper of a village about to be demolished, to a teenaged girl who moves from Kansas to Lithuania to live with her grandfather, the stories are so diverse in culture and locals, yet there is constant sameness within them. That connection is how memory infuses itself within us. How it brings the love, loss and remembrance of what is important to us to the forefront. Memory reflects upon what once was and how it illuminates in our present. Without those memories, we are left to wander through life without foundations. The book is a metaphor for memory and its force in our present lives.
Anthony Doerr captures emotions and thoughts with precision and with poetic word-imagery. Memory Wall is a stunningly beautiful, evoking emotions within this reader, and filling my senses with life-affirming loveliness.
I highly recommend Memory Wall-Stories to everyone.