A Book of Revelations by A.C. Burch

“We all lie when we’re cornered…. The irony isn’t lost on me.  While I’ve made a career out of uncovering the truth in others, I’ve never faced my own” (222).  About to write off the one he thought was the love of his life, the narrator in this longest tale of the collection (a novella also published separately) comes to terms with his own duality – and his capacity to give and receive love.  In the first story, which reminds of The Lady in the Van, one neighbor’s drawn out secret allows the narrator’s abrupt coming out.  In the second story, a musician’s admitted lack of ability with words gives way for a stunning moment: “the sacred, quiescent instant when each person in the audience reconciles the experience in his soul” (76).  Two friends in the final tale get to the heart of one scoundrel’s suicide plot, as well as to the heart of their indelible friendship.  The conceit of these stories is superb: A Book of Revelations isn’t so much about disclosure as the conflict surrounding it.    

A.C. Burch is a quintessential observer, but without the distance that might leave the writing cold.  Instead, Burch takes on voices – that of old women, young men, sex-crazed and sex-craven.  We are touched by these players at the margins, artfully rendered by chapter illustrations that suit in their whimsy and wry lines.  This unforgettable cast invites us to meet them “my life on my terms” (203).  Think of it as less a threat than one of the several dinner invitations extended throughout the book.  Black-tie, or black gown – or both! – 8pm; be there or be square!  author website

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Author: marilivtollefson

I teach and play violin when not reading and reviewing books. Thanks to indie authors for opening my world and sharing theirs! Find my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, Midwest Book Review and BookPage, among others.

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