A few days ago I received Three Sisters of Stone by Stephanie Hutton in the post. I’d actually forgotten I’d ordered it. I had been meaning to, but it was a lovely surprise when it turned up on my doormat.
I put the novel I’m reading to one side, started it immediately and was hooked from the first line; ‘My elder sister Agnes will build her anti-wolf home from metal sheeting’.
Stephanie’s novella in flash is genuinely one of my favourite things I’ve read all year. Her prose is stunning and shimmering as ever, the three sisters are so real, each with their own personality and perception of their world and the story completely draws you in and pulls you through. It’s just wonderful and heartbreaking.
I am a big fan of reading and writing flash fiction, but novella in flash was a new format for me. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it, but to be honest I completely forgot about the format and just became absorbed in the lives of the three sisters, Agnes, Bella and Chloe.
‘Three Sisters of Stone follows three sisters over three decades as they manage adversity in very different ways, culminating in loss, growth and self-knowledge.’
I forgot I was reading, which is a sign of a wonderful piece of writing. The 45 pages of this novella moved me more than many novels I’ve read in the past few years.
I bought Three Sisters of Stone to support Stephanie and Steve Campbell, editor of Ellipsis Zine, who has thankfully shared this story so we can all enjoy it and also to support the flash community in general. But that’s not the reason I loved it and the reason why I’ll keep it on my shelf and look forward to reading it again.
I loved it because it reminded me what it’s like to be and have a sister, that remarkable moments happen even in the most unremarkable lives and that stories can change us.
Basically what I’m saying is, buy this and read it. It’s worth every penny of the five pounds and in buying it you’ll also be supporting a fantastic literary venture that gives new writers a platform to share their beautiful flash fiction.
Congratulations Stephanie and Steve! I look forward to reading more where this came from.