Théodora Armstrong’s Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility (House of Anansi, 2013)

The clear skies and no wind?


That’s not often true, actually, in Théodora Armstrong’s debut collection.


The characters herein are faced with stormy conditions and life is in flux.


But 100% visibility?


That’s true: her vision is impeccable, her scope expansive but her perspective incisive.

Readers know what to expect from the first sentence of “Rabbits”:


“I wrap myself in our scratchy curtains and watch Mom from our front window.”


Eight-year-old Dawn’s story is told in the first person: it is uncomfortable (‘scratchy’), and she is unobserved but watching from behind the glass, her perspective uncluttered and clear.


Readers recognize a limitation in her view (she has only eight years of life experience to inform her), but Dawn is old enough to recognize both vulnerability and ferocity.


Rabbits can be hunted and, even at eight years old, Dawn has the potential to be a predator, or, at least, to step outside the role of easy prey.


Predators and prey also play overt roles in the last and longest work in the collection, “Mosquito Coast”, which is over 80 pages long.


This collection and its contents are considered in more detail on BuriedInPrint.