A Blog A Day: How Much the Heart Can Hold – Review

‘Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.’
Zelda Fitzgerald

Love is not a singular concept.

In this collection, seven award-winning authors explore seven concepts of love: from Philautia, self-love, to Agape, love for humanity; and from Storge, a natural affection for family, to Mania, a frenzied, obsessive love.

Seven authors; seven short stories; seven flashes of love.

What I Thought:
The emphasis in a lot of fiction concerning ‘love’ as a concept, focuses on romantic love as the be-all-and-end-all, How Much the Heart Can Hold, a small yet beautiful volume, reminds us that love comes in many forms and the sad fact that, for some, romantic love can fade.

This short story collection, featuring the work of Nikesh Shukla and Carys Bray (among others) is an ambitious undertaking from Sceptre, but each story has been carefully commissioned, and put together to create a powerful collection. From forbidden love, to enduring love, to love amongst the family, this wider exploration of the concept of love is a great starting point from which to explore further – whether that be the concept of love, or to seek out more work from a particular author.

As with all short story collections, there are some that will speak to you, and others that don’t have the same impact. The ones that I felt most for were the stories by Nikesh Shukla and Carys Bray (hence why I mention them above!). On very different themes, but both featuring family relationships, I very much enjoyed the writing style and felt they were perfectly suited to the short story form.

Alongside the release of the hardback, Sceptre ran a (now concluded) short story competition, with the winner featured in the paperback release of the collection, so it’s definitely worth holding out for the paperback release for that extra content! Well done Sceptre for championing new writing…

How Much the Heart Can Hold will be available in paperback in August 2017 from Sceptre.

Note: I was sent a copy of the book for review, but all opinions are, as ever, my own.

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