I haven’t read many short story collections, so I didn’t have much of a frame of reference when reading The Loss of All Lost Things by Amina Gautier. But I think that put me at an advantage. The worst thing about critics or reviewers is not judging a piece on its own merit. So while I had some expectations, I was also free to experience the work in its purest state.
With its limited word count, it can be difficult to form well-rounded characters in short stories. However, in this collection each character felt genuine and balanced. Additionally, the theme of loss was felt expressed well in the narrative of each piece.
Gautier also flaunted her writing chops as she shifted between point-of-view storytelling tactics, with each attempt landing successfully. For example, What Matters Most paints the picture of a narcissist woman, told in second-person, whose at-first self-centered qualities become completely relatable at the end when she re-examines her priories. Overall, I mark this collection as a worthy read.