Fancy Shop by Valeri Stanoevich is a collection of twenty thought-provoking short stories. This assorted collection of stories is set in various times and locations and contain all sorts of characters ranging from newspaper vendors to knights. However, they are united by the common theme of curiosity and change. There is nothing constant, and the characters, and readers, should take nothing for granted. The stories are set in their own curious little worlds, where there are no limits, no definition of reality or fantasy, where anything is possible.
For instance, the short story “Fancy Shop” starts with a seemingly simple scene with a girl and an old man in what appears to be a thrift store, but in less than three pages, the story comes to a satisfying end that leaves readers in childlike awe.
The short stories start with a seemingly simple setting, nothing out of the ordinary. It is not until the end that the reader truly understands the paranormal or fantastical element in the story. The themes are varied, the characters uncanny and unique, and the tone and the narration style constantly change across the different stories.
This book has a wonderful ability to transport the reader into a world seemingly pulled from a child’s imagination. Where you can fly away with the clouds and a curious looking building is a secret world.
Fancy Shop provides readers with a collection of extraordinary stories that will speak to those that “asks questions and seeks answers,” as the preface correctly suggests. Each story stands on its own and delivers something different, whether exciting or interesting, but always entertaining. This was fun to read and I look forward to more stories from author Valeri Stanoevich.
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