Rapture and What Comes After by Virginia Moffatt is a collection of 30 paired flash-fictions. The first half of the book is comprised of 15 flashes chronicling the ever-hopeful beginnings of love: the rapture. The second half of the book is comprised of the other 15 flashes, the stories of what comes after. These tales are not lovey-dovey romances though; they are an honest look at love and its pitfalls, at the light and dark that can exist in even the most caring relationships.
I’m not sure if I approached this book in the intended way. Instead of reading Part One and then Part Two, I decided to read the flash-fictions in pairs. In other words, after reading Flash-Fiction One in Part One, I flicked forward to read Flash-Fiction One in Part Two. This worked for me as the first story in each pair was still fresh in my mind as I read the second. Some of the pairings are linked in an obvious and straightforward manner – they tell the tale of the same couple, although sometimes from a different person’s point of view. Others are less obviously linked, and you have to read between the lines to see the connection. Regardless of how the pairs are connected though, they all work very well together. I enjoyed each story in itself, but I also enjoyed each pair, and the before-and-after conceit added to satisfaction I felt on finishing the book.
Of all the pairings, the most memorable for me was Red Shoes – The Moves You Make. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I’ll just say that after reading The Moves You Make, my understanding of Red Shoes was completely flipped on its head.
On the whole, this is a well-written and well-conceived collection, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of Virginia Moffat’s work.
4/5 – I really liked it!
(I received a free e-copy of this book to review.)
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