Monday, October 11, 2021

Reader's Diary #2243 - Shashi Bhat: The Most Precious Substance on Earth

 I truly loved Sashi Bhat's short story, "The Most Precious Substance on Earth" and those are often the ones I find hardest to discuss.

Honestly there's not a misstep. The voice, the setting, the characterization, imagery, themes. It's all perfect.

But a story can be technically perfect and still not resonate. Fortunately that's not the case here. 

Told from the perspective of a high school band student on an important band trip away from home. She's caught somewhat between a bully and victim who she's been roomed with. It's a particularly heavy topic considering it's set not long after the Columbine shooting. Towards the end, there's a bit of an awakening about the importance of belonging (not just "fitting in") but it isn't heavy handed. 

Wonderful, wonderful story.

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