Battleborn cover

Battleborn; Claire Vaye Watkins
| published February 26, 2015 |

Book review by Kristy Webster
Thursday Review contributor

“P.S. On second thought, perhaps sometimes these things are best left by the side of the road, as it were. Sometimes a person wants a part of you that's no good. Sometimes love is a wound that opens and closes, opens and closes, all our lives.”

― Claire Vaye Watkins, Battleborn

Watkins begins this moody and haunting collection of short stories by first tackling her own troubled and unique legacy as the daughter of one of Charles Manson’s right hand men, Paul Watkins. The story begins over and over, as if to underscore the complex nature of the author’s relationship to her father’s infamy. In The Archivist a young woman views the relics of a turbulent relationship as museum pieces. In Man-o-War, an old divorcee finds more than he bargains for on a search for abandoned fireworks. My favorite has to be The Past Perfect, The Past Continous, The Simple Past, a story involving a young foreigner, a companion lost to the desert, and a brothel where passions and loyalties are pulled dangerously taut.

If you haven’t been a fan of short stories in the past, please give this brilliant and powerful collection a chance to change your opinion.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Wonder; R.J. Palacio; book review by Kristy Webster; Thursday Review; November 3, 2014.

Citizen: An American Lyric; Claudia Ranikine; book review by Kristy Webster; Thursday Review; February 24, 2015.