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The Source of the Sound by Patrick Holland

April 2011, no. 330

The Source of the Sound by Patrick Holland

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

The Source of the Sound by Patrick Holland

April 2011, no. 330

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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