Subversive Reader Reviews: Camera Obscura (AWW2013)

Book reviews and AWW posts can be found here.

AWW2013 – Book 9

Camera Obscura


Kathryn Lomer
Adult Contemporary Fiction – Short Stories

Library Book: Moreton Bay Regional Council


At the end of 2012, I read What Now, Tilda B?, one of Lomer’s young adult books. It was a haunting book which I really loved. So it came as no surprise that I loved this book as well.

Camera Obscura is made up of 17 different short stories. The characters change each time and there appears to be no lap over between stories and no clear theme running through them. As you read on, you realise that you are looking at images, told from particular, biased, points of view. Strangely enough, when I finished, I couldn’t necessarily remember particular stories, but I could remember snippets of characters and moments of action.

Of course, when I look back, I find some favourites. I love the two stories with a Japanese theme to them – Ceiling of an Umbrella Shop and Emerald Princess, both of which make me want to hunt down two of Lomer’s other books which have Japanese themes. Here be Dragons was lovely and Pram Rage managed to be beautiful and sad at the same time. With such a wide range of characters in the different stories, some of them are sympathetic and easy to fall in love with, and some of them leave you just a little bit cold.

What doesn’t leave me cold, though, is the writing. I’m becoming a real fan of this musical style of writing, something which I also found in Love Like Water and Cracklescape. It’s not always easy to move between it and the more straight forward style of writing I often see, but when you fall into the rhythm of it, and let it take you along, it’s a little bit magical. Lomer is one of those authors who can really take you along on nothing but her words. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading more by her.


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