Title: Losing Heart
Author: Donna Brown
Pages: 83 pages
Helen is waiting for her pager to buzz. With every hour that passes she loses a little bit more faith; the buzz that she is waiting for will save her life. When her pager finally beeps it is to let her know that there has been a matching donor found to give her a new heart.
However, with this new heart comes dissatisfaction. Helen feels like the life that she is living isn’t doing justice to the gift that she has been given. She decides to live life to the fullest.
There is only one problem with this plan and that is Marian. Marian is the mother of the heart donor and she seems intent on forcing herself into Helen’s family. And there is damn little that Helen can do to stop her.
Ok, I know I have moaned about my dislike for the short story but after reading Losing Heart you could have knocked me over with a feather. It was damn good. It felt like a much longer story. Every detail was so concise and believable. The character of Marian was truly terrifying in her subtle intensity, her deviousness and her furtive and underhand actions.
The really clever thing about Losing Heart and indeed Brown’s writing is that she made the character of Helen so reprehensible at the beginning, her attitude and animosity and sheer nastiness made her very unlikable but you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Helen’s whole life was controlled by this conniving woman and Helen became trapped in her own life. This is pretty powerful stuff!
So far, Losing Heart has been one of the best short stories that I have read this year and is going into the ranks of books that have helped change my mind on this form of writing. Well done Donna Brown.
Losing Heart by Donna Brown is available now.
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