The Source of the Sound
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).