Through the Mist was introduced to me by Sona who is also one of the authors of the book. I met her through an Ebook Carnival where we both were participating. As we communicated she told me about this book which was a collaborative venture. When I came to know about the story behind the book, I couldn’t stop myself from reading it.
THE STORY BEHIND: This book came into being when 5 authors came together to weave 5 stories with one photograph as a focal point.
'Okay, so it is a multi-author book. What is so different about it? Have read many like these.' These were my first thoughts. But, as it happens most of the time with me… my presumptions were wrong.
The authors of ‘Through the Mist’ raised the bar of story-writing a notch higher. The 5 authors started their stories focusing on one common picture; then handed over their unfinished stories to another writer. In this way, all the writers became a part of each story. All the 5 creations were born out of the joint creativity of 5 different authors!!!
Isn’t this amazing!!? Just think about it. These 5 authors have different writing styles. There is a difference in their age, in their experiences, in the way they perceive the stories and characters within. They have no clue what other is writing, so planning ahead of the story is not an option. Each author has to understand the story passed over to them like a baton, and then take it further ahead. It was indeed a daunting task.
While maintaining the flow of every story, the skill of the team was tested. They had to keep the theme of the story intact. They had to keep the story wrapped without leaving loose ends. And to top it all, each one of them had to think of not only making the story interesting for the reader to read but also for the next author to write.
PROS: Apt Title: The title ‘Through the Mist’ is so well suited to the picture which was the centre of their creative pieces and became the book cover. Somehow, after knowing more about this whole project, I also felt that the title suits the journey which these authors embarked upon. They successfully pulled out these beautiful stories from a haze of ideas, thoughts, emotions, perceptions of 5 different people.
The Stories: Each tale is completely different from another. Where one is a simple fiction, another lies on the borders of fantasy. One portrays the longing for someone the other portrays the struggle to live.
Middle-Class Story is a tale about a typical Middle-class family of India. The family which is somewhere between the traditional living and modern thinking. With humorous incidents, the tale is spun around a girl called Pari and the boy who falls in love with her. The story grows well and I liked its pace. I wanted to know more about the lives of the young couples and wished the story was not so short :)
A Strange Life felt a little strange to me initially. Although a little difficult to comprehend the alternate lives of the protagonist at first, I could slowly and steadily understand the psychic side of it. I immensely liked the eerie atmosphere.
Languish in Love was an emotional roller coaster ride for me. The intense emotions of childhood love and its separation portrayed in this story were absolutely amazing. The longing pain displayed in the story by the protagonist touched my heart. The involvement of the picture in this particular tale was very impressive.
The Lone Man is a story about a person who is drowning in the sorrow of his deceased wife. The sorrow turns into fear when he realises that something is wrong around him. The fear changes into horror which increases ten-fold when the widower comes across an old dusty book having weird-looking images. The creepiness and the element of horror were brought out well in the story.
Turn of the Tides came out as a story with a touch of philosophy flowing underneath. It is about a seafarer striving against the ordeals of the sea. The most remarkable thing in this tale was the personification of the sea. It was amazing to find all the writers in sync with each other in this story.
Overall, these wordsmiths have weaved quite an interesting bunch of tales. Through the Mist may not be flawless but one cannot deny the level of challenge these début authors have taken to build the unique stories in it.