Sumaiyya’s Book for Thought: We Don’t Know What We’re Doing Here by Thomas Morris

This week’s review is quite special; Thomas Morris’s book won the Wales Book of the Year award a few days ago. As a result, I decided now is the best time to review my recent favourite on Book for Thought. Besides, I’ve noticed that not everyone reads short stories; this is another reason I decided to review WDKWWD. I love short stories, from Poe to Lydia Davis; I feel they are often more impactful than longer novels. Short stories are also great if you don’t have much time to read.

Without further ado, here are top reasons I’d recommend this book:

1. The stories are all ordinary, but unique in their own way. Each focus on a character that is transitioning through some phase in their life.
2. Most stories have an ending you’d want to read twice. I was blown away by some of the plot twists because they were so sudden, yet I should have seen it coming.
3. You get really intimate with the lives of the various characters, their thoughts, and opinions and how they view themselves.
4. One more thing about the characters – I like that Morris portrays the provincial milieu in a domestic setting. This isn’t a pretentious contemporary novel. It’s very gritty and down-to-earth, with a story or two that are quite ghostly and dystopian.
5. The portrayal of life in a small town is perfected by the spectrum of emotions that the writer touches upon through his characters. This is made even more elaborate through his focus on loneliness and people who really ‘don’t know what they’re doing’.
6. The book also offers great insight into mental illness.
7. The stories are set in the small Irish town called Caerphilly. Morris connects the stories and their setting by frequently mentioning particular streets and the castle in the town.

Simply said, these stories will touch your heart no matter who you are, because they’re written with warmth that reflects reality. I must add that I’m completely in love with the cover design, especially the pictures featured on the front.

The book is not available in Jarir, but you can order the hardcover/paperback via Book Depository. Add it to your shelf on Goodreads.

Want me to review a particular book? Let me know in the comments below.

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