‘White Knight Escort Service’ by Leah Holbrook Sackett —BOOK REVIEW

About ‘White Knight Escort Service’ by Leah Holbrook Sackett::

Genre: Coming of Age; Contemporary Fiction; Short Stories

In this short story collection, White Knight’s Escort Service, Leah brings forth a series of Coming of Age stories. This work reflects the role of the White Knight in Alice Through the Looking Glass, where the White Knight is responsible for escorting Alice safely to the end of the wood and into puberty. Leah breathes new life with a wonderland quality to relevant characters in this timeless genre, painting a coming of age ensemble with a vivid and realistic palette.

I have also reviewed these other titles by Leah Holbrook Sackett:
Swimming Middle River

This book follows through on its boast of a collection of ‘Through the Looking Glass’ type stories. It’s been some years since I’ve read the original ‘Alice in Wonderland’ novels, but ‘White Knight Escort Service’ definitely took me back to them. In each of the twelve individual stories, the author transports us into a day in the live of a different young person.

No two tales have similar arrangements. The collection encompasses different genders, as well as characters raised by two parents, a single parent, or other persons. But it is the other circumstances that really make each story stands out. You have the stories of positive childhoods and abusive childhoods, those robbed by disease or misfortune, that of the love-struck and even that of the bully and bullied.

The most whimsical tale is the first, which has the most obvious ‘Alice’ vibes. It was a great way to start off the collection and to be honest, I expected the others not to hold up. While the rest may not be as clear in that atmosphere, to my delight, they were all perfectly entertaining.

I can’t pinpoint a single favorite because so many of the stories touched on some of my own experiences growing up. There is ‘A Birdcage Nests Within’ which shows a depressed mother whose child bears the bitter end of her illness; ‘The Lord’s Table, Reservations Required’ tells of a young girl who desperately wishes to be close to God; and ‘I Can See Your Wings’ is about a disabled teen on crutches trying to be normal and free.

That’s all I can say about them without spoiling anything, but suffice it to say that the emotions, thoughts, and subtleties of the storylines that Leah Holbrook Sackett weaved in are incredible. So much detail and realism. Also incorporated are casual or subtle inclusion of diverse persons.

Another interesting thing about the book is that the author has formatted the stories differently. There is a story written as diary entries, one switches focused POV between mother and child, one incorporates notes, some are first person and some are third, etc… It feels that the author knew exactly which approach to use for each story to invoke the proper response.

A must read for lovers of literary fiction, contemporary fiction, coming of age, and…well, just readers in general, to be honest.

Buy the paperback on Amazon!

Leah Holbrook Sackett can be found on:
Twitter @LeahSackett
Goodreads
Author Website

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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden

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