Estelle Tang reviews 'The Source of the Sound' by Patrick Holland

The Source of the Sound

by Patrick Holland

Salt Publishing (Inbooks), $24.95 pb, 164 pp, 9781844718115

The final offering in Patrick Holland’s first collection of short stories is also its best. In ‘The Source of the Silence’, a motor mechanic casts his mind back fifteen years; he is remembering ‘a sister who was fourteen then and has never grown older’, whose thoughts he could hear before she spoke them. The story is an account of a severed bond so enduring that it haunts the survivor’s present and, as indicated in the story’s moving ending, probably his future. Juxtaposing cedar-lined creek with barbed wire fence, Holland’s landscape writing beautifully evokes the light and shade of rural Mary Smokes – also the setting of his second novel, The Mary Smokes Boys (2010).

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Estelle Tang

Estelle Tang

Estelle Tang is online editor of the literary journal Kill Your Darlings. She is an editor at Oxford University Press, a programming committee member at Melbourne Writers’ Festival, and editorial advisor at Paper Radio.
Published in April 2011 no. 330

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