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The Clock in My Mother’s House
The Clock in My Mother’s House is a collection of short stories from author Annalisa Crawford that I just finished reading. If you’ve been following my reviews for any length of time, then you know how much I love a good short story.
One of the reasons I love short stories is that I can read them before bed, or in the morning instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media. They take about the same amount of time as a newspaper article, and are often a lot more interesting.
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Have you read The Clock in My Mother’s House yet? Come on in and let me tell you about it!
About The Clock in My Mother’s House
Life can change in an instant, but that’s not always a bad thing.
A hotel explodes leaving staff and guests in peril; a woman retrieves an old clock from the attic with disturbing consequences; one man leaves heartbreak behind him, and another arrives to bring adventure.
In this haunting collection, Annalisa Crawford creates characters who will charm, captivate, and intrigue you.
Annalisa’s stories have featured in Fairlight Shorts, Fictive Dream, and Reflex Fiction; and have been short- and long-listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the Bath Short Story Award, Globe Soup, and more.
Thoughts on The Clock in My Mother’s House
The Clock in My Mother’s House Runs Backwards
This one had a Lord of the Rings vibe to me. Like when Gollum has a meltdown over the ring and repeatedly says, “my precious.” That was my first thought when our main character tried to remove the creepy clock from her mother’s house.
I found this one to be both interesting and creepy at the same time. I was also reading this one before bed, and that didn’t help me to sleep. It made my brain start working overtime thinking about the possibilities.
The Woman in the Van
This story is more about folklore than anything and how stories and even memories can change over time through the people who talk about them.
But if you’ve been a teen and had a parent die suddenly, then you will absolutely relate to this story and break your heart all over again. I’m approaching forty faster than I’d like to admit, and this one still brought back memories for me.
If you’ve ever listened to the GPS navigator in your car and wondered where it was actually taking you, then you’ll totally relate to this story. The funny thing is just the other day I was driving and the car started beeping at me because I went over the center line, and I found myself yelling back at the car because I had no choice. I did it to avoid hitting parked cars.
This story is incredibly short, and ends leaving the reader wanting to know more. It has a very ominous feel to it. Like there could be so much more to the story, which certainly gets the imagination going into overdrive. Normally this would feel like too short of a story and irritate me, but I actually found myself enjoying imagining the rest of the story in my head.
All the Magpies Come Out to Play
This is a sweet story that we can all relate to, having gone through the Covid lockdown that lasted forever. Two years felt like a lifetime. It certainly reminded me of times when I would check on friends, send messages offering to pick up groceries or anything else necessary.
It also reminded me how necessary it is to go outside everyday and make it a real point to take care of myself through simple exercise, and really enjoy the sunshine. As well as not taking life for granted. Life is a short thing, so are we each living it to our full potential? This story made me stop and contemplate that.
A Thousand Pieces of You
This story had such a sad tone to it, and I felt it to my core. When we look back at our lives, it often hurts, the missed opportunities, “sensible” decisions instead of something more interesting or fun. Self reflection can be both difficult and even haunting.
I was raised by a narcissist, so I’ve had to work incredibly hard to shed the versions of myself that were created to survive, before I became the woman I was meant to be. As our main character looks back on herself, I completely understood what she was seeing.
This story is told from the viewpoint of a photographer, as her mother experiences a breakup. It doesn’t just affect her mother though, it affects our main character.
It is interesting to see how they slowly grieve and then start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve all been there and can really relate to this story.
One Minute Silence
This story is interesting in the fact it dissects time and how we go about spending our time when something tragic happens. The fact we all have plans for tomorrow, this evening, things to do, people to see, and so much more.
We all have plans that can change in an instant. Life can end. It is fragile. But no one really thinks about that. Or how a two minute inconvenience can change the course of our lives, even saving our lives.
I’m not sure what to think about this story. It is incredibly short, and simple. It is about a dog and how the owner feels about his actions on a day to day basis.
I’m not sure if the story is meant to complain about how annoying dogs are, or if it is written to appreciate even the annoying behaviors that come with owning a pet.
The Fear of Ghosts
This is the creepiest story in the book so far, and oddly enough, my favorite. It is based on a haunted piece of furniture that contains ghosts that haunt a child. Once he has grown up and returns to the family home, he is once again confronted by the ghosts.
This one reminds me that we can never really run from our past. Confronting it, making peace with it, and learning from it, absolutely. Those are necessary for personal growth. But running really isn’t an option.
Adventures in My Own Back Garden
This story is both sad and inspirational at the same time. Tragedy can strike at any time, but there is still a life to be lived, despite it being vastly different from the one we likely imagine in our heads.
I loved this one, because it felt honest, if that makes any sense. It felt real to be, and I appreciated that. It took me on a journey I wasn’t expecting, and had a perfect ending.
Final Thoughts on The Clock in My Mother’s House
The Clock in My Mother’s House was the first of Annalisa Crawford’s writing that I’ve ever read. I had never even heard of her before stumbling across The Clock in My Mother’s House. But I’m glad that I found and enjoyed her writing.
It takes a serious talent to write good quality short stories. I first fell in love with short stories when I read Beautiful, Complicated Family. Oftentimes I hold all other short stories to that standard. Do they measure up or do they fall completely flat?
In this case, I would say Annalisa Crawford came pretty close to meeting and exceeding my standards on what a good short story is. It has to be immediately engaging, entertaining, and also give a good quality ending and resolution within a very small window to be a short story.
I will say that I was far more impressed by these stories than I expected to be, and that makes me very happy. If an author can exceed whatever expectations I have going into reading their writing, I think they’ve outdone themselves.
Have you read The Clock in My Mother’s House, or any other writing from author Annalisa Crawford? Are you a fan of short stories? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author
Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and dog.
Crawford writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories, with a hint of the paranormal.
Over the years, she has won several competitions, had many short stories published in small press journals and online. Highlights include being placed 3rd in the Costa Short Story Award 2015 and being longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Bath Short Story Award in 2018.
Purchasing The Clock in My Mother’s House
If you are interested in buying the paperback version of The Clock in My Mother’s House, click here.
Click here for the Kindle version.
Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.
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