Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
The Arrival of Missives is about the struggles of growing up and navigating the mine field of choices we all face. How those choices can affect our lives long after the decision is made. In The Arrival of Missives we met Shirley. Shirley is a young teen in the early twentieth century in a small town. She attends a one room school-house and finds her teacher Mr. Tillman fascinating and the smartest man she knows. A man she has learned to trust and believe over the years in his classroom. Her dream is to marry him, attend school to be a teacher and become his assistant.
Aliya takes us back to a simpler time but where the decisions are just as difficult. She tells a fair amount of the story through Shirley’s internal dialog. Shirley’s dreams become our dreams as we get to know her. As the year progresses she grows close to Mr. Tillman and he confides a deep and unbelievable secret. Shirley knows there is something special about Mr. Tillman. She has always found him mysterious knowing he has served in the war. But this secret is almost more than she can comprehend, one that will affect not only her but all of mankind. As Shirley learns Mr. Tillman’s secret she desperately wants to help. But will the cost be too great and destroy her dreams.
Aliya takes us on a fantastical journey of how one decision or action can have far-reaching effects. One thread in a tapestry that covers both time and space. I enjoyed the journey and really like the premise of how a pinpointed moment of time can be so important. These moments that occur multiple times a day and the significance that is lost on us until we are far down the road. I would have really liked to have seen more of the story about Mr. Tillman’s secret. I was left with many questions about this thread of the book. Most of the story is told as internal dialog and this slowed the momentum for me. All in all The Arrival of Misses is a well told story but I was left wanting to know more.
Length: 128 Pages
Release date: May 9, 2014
From Aliya Whiteley, author of the critically-acclaimed The Beauty, comes a genre-defying story of fate, free-will and the choices we make in life.
In the aftermath of the Great War, Shirley Fearn dreams of challenging the conventions of rural England, where life is as predictable as the changing of the seasons.
The scarred veteran Mr. Tiller, left disfigured by an impossible accident on the battlefields of France, brings with him a message: part prophecy, part warning. Will it prevent her mastering her own destiny?
As the village prepares for the annual May Day celebrations, where a new queen will be crowned and the future will be reborn again, Shirley must choose: change or renewal?
The Arrival of Missives is a unique work, deftly marrying literary and genre influences. It heralds the arrival of a major new voice in speculative fiction.