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Girl, Balancing

By Helen Dunmore

Girl, Balancing is a beautifully written collection of short stories that deal with themes of parenthood, secrets and painful reassesments of life.

Despite the chapters never, with the exception of the 'Nina Stories', being longer then a single chapter, each story leaves an impact through each existing in a surprisingly realised world, with characters who have lives outside what explicitly happens in the story. Dunmore conveys this with subtle details that not only provide information about their lives, but the time and place they exist in (which is extremely importent for a collection of stories that all take place in different time periods). such details include a Zeppelin raid in one story and olive oil being used to cure earache in another. With all this detail what amounts are a collection of stories that feel incredibly real

Although each story was intriguing in its own right, my two personal favourites of the collection had to be 'Esther to Fanny' and 'Taken in Shadows'. This two stood out in my opinion to due to their prose alone. Dunmore's writing took a noticeable step up in these two, with writings that was fluid, unique and bordering on poetry, along with final sentences that really had an impact.