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Geographies, by Carmelinda Blagg

Does where we are shape who we are? Do the places we know or dream of make our memories? Can the map we hold in our hands awaken the landscape inside us?

Geographies is a captivating collection of stories that explore the profound impact of places on the human experience, delving into the complexities of aging, childhood and family life and the scars left by war.

A man returns to the shores of Dover, England, where decades earlier he experienced his first awakening of adolescent desire and longing. A pair of orphaned siblings face off with a rattlesnake in the West Texas plains. In the title story, an aging father visited by his daughter holds close the frail maps that recall his experience as a wounded WWII paratrooper and give rise to a painful dreamscape that renders him a helpless witness to loss while in a companion story the daughter is touched by the realization that for her long-divorced parents their wartime bond remains a deeply felt imperative.

Traversing the post-war decades from the tumultuous sixties to the present day, Geographies takes readers on a poignant and evocative journey across diverse landscapes, exploring the mysterious interplay of place and memory, loss and grief. These are stories imbued with lyricism and warmth, with characters whose vulnerabilities and resilience shine as they navigate the twists of fate and hidden regrets that shape their lives.

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