Sunday Book Review – Hinting at Shadows by Sarah Brentyn

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Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

Today’s book review is on Sarah Brentyn’sHinting at Shadows. Admittedly, I don’t write flash fiction myself, but because I enjoy this author’s writing I was tempted to check out her book and I’m glad I did.  I enjoyed it very much because of the subject matter which although fiction, was a compelling read because the messages left from each story were relatable to real life issues.


Hinting at Shadows - Sarah Brentyn


Buy This Book on Amazon!



No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.

A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.

Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.


My 5 Star Review:


Sarah Brentyn is a master at micro-fiction. Her stories written in short 100 words or less don’t require more words, but leave us in deep contemplation. The power of words in small micro-bursts have the ability to reveal a whole story open to the reader’s interpretation.


All Brentyn’s stories reveal a human element reflecting many emotions from fear, abuse, trust, passion, hope and more.


Just a sampling here will demonstrate that although short, this book will give a reader reason to pause and digest these bite-sized chunks of life:


They said, “if you talk about it, it will set you free.” She told them. They locked her up.

Eventually we learned that his rage was preferable when he lashed out. His silence meant a storm grew within him. And we would pay.

The doctors say insomnia and prescription pills. I say “writer” and pick up a pen.’


Hinting at Shadows is a wonderful, thought-provoking, psychological read about the human condition.


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  1. Terrific review as always Debby… lovely to see Sarah’s collection here.. xxx

    1. Thank you, Sally! ?

  2. A lovely review of Sarah’s book, Debby. I find it fascinating to see what inspires other writers and how they think about things.

    1. Thanks Robbie. So do I, I think that’s part of our creativity – curiosity to observe 🙁

      1. Thanks Sal. I was curious to read Sarah’s book because of reviews about her power to write in short/microfiction and I was taken aback at how much impact some of those stories had. 🙂 <3

        1. Thank you, Debby. ? It’s nice to read that the words and stories made an impact. Sometimes flash can pack a punch.

          1. And that they did! Great writing Sarah. 🙂

    2. It is interesting to see where writers’ inspiration comes from. ? Thanks, Robbie!

  3. Thank you so much, Debby! I’m honored to be included in your Sunday review series. ?

    1. The pleasure was mine Sarah. <3

  4. I love that micro approach to writing. I teach the Twitter novel in my classes–140-character book. It’s quite effective. Thanks for sharing this, Deb.

    1. Thanks Jacqui. And 140 character book writing on Twitter sounds like a great idea. 🙂

    2. Ooh! I recently wrote a guest post about Twitterature. What’s this Twitter novel? Where do you teach it? That is wonderful! There is so much to micro and flash. Thanks, Jacqui. 🙂

  5. Great review, Debby. I also wasn’t sure about reading a book of micro-fiction. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sarah is incredible at capturing the gist of a life in a moment of time. Beautiful writing.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it to Diana. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    2. Such a lovely comment. ?? Thank you, Diana.

  6. Terrific review Deb…micro fiction is like haiku or micro poetry, the lesser the words, more the power of thoughts and much left to the imagination of the reader! Must be an engrossing book. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the review.

    1. Thank Balroop. That’s exactly it: less is more sometimes = imagination. 🙂

    2. Balroop, I love this comment. That’s a great comparison. With micro, less is more. It’s amazing how much you can say in few words. And it can be powerful. Also, agree about readers using their imagination. Actively reading. Thanks! ?

  7. This is a book I’d definitely enjoy. I love the excerpts in your review. I need to write a few more short stories and tidbits of inspiration, and then move ahead with that book you suggested I publish! Terrific post, Deb ♥

    1. Yay T. So glad you’re thinking about taking up my suggestions! <3

    2. Oh, if you get it, I do hope you enjoy. Thanks, Tina. ? Best of luck with your collection!

      1. You’re welcome, Sarah, and thank you 🙂

  8. Lovely review, Debbie. Flash fiction is one of my favourite genres to teach.x

    1. Thanks Judith. Well I’m sure you’d enjoy Sarah’s book then. 🙂 xx P.S. I found you in my spam! What you doin’ in the dumpster? LOL

    2. Ooh…another flash fiction fan. 🙂 This is such an amazing form to teach. There are so many benefits to writing flash and micro. Where do you teach this? Sounds wonderful! ?

  9. SOunds like an excellent read. Thanks for the introduction. Another one for my tbr 🙂

    1. You’re welcome my friend. Glad we can fatten up each other’s TBRs lol. 🙂 xx

    2. Thanks, Christoph. Nice to officially “meet” you. ?

  10. Ooooh a whole book of flash fiction, with a bonus of micro bursts! Sounds like a great read to check out 🙂 It’s nice to have flash fiction when you don’t have a lot of time to set aside for reading. Thanks for introducing me to Sarah’s work, Debby. Happy Monday ♥

    1. Thanks for reading Christy. This book was quite different for me too. But I’d heard so much about it I had to check it out and glad I did. 🙂 Happy Monday to you too my sweet friend. <3

    2. Thanks for visiting, Christy. Flash stories can be fun to read between (or along with) other books. Hope you enjoy Hinting if you do get to it. ?

      (Thank you, Debby.?)

  11. I enjoy flash fiction on a couple of blogs I follow, but I’ve never read an anthology full of it. Sarah’s collection sounds intriguing. When time allows, I try to incorporate writing flash fiction or poetry into my routine, and the poetry usually wins out.

    1. Well you’re in for a treat Jeri with Sarah’s book. 🙂 x

    2. Poetry winning out doesn’t sound like a problem to me. 😉 I’ve never been very good at poetry but do enjoy reading it. And I love any prose that is poetic, if that makes sense. Thanks, Jeri!

  12. I’m a flash fiction fan, so will check out this one.

    1. You’re in for a treat D! 🙂 x

    2. Ooh! Another fan of flash. 🙂 I’m so happy. Thanks!

  13. I appreciate your bringing this review for all of us to enjoy. This is a book I must read. I love the idea of flash fiction and will definitely look into it more. Congratulations, Sarah and thank you, Debby.

    1. Thanks again for reading Karen. If you enjoy this short type of fiction that packs a powerful punch, you will certainly enjoy Sarah’s book. 🙂

    2. Thanks, Karen. ? Flash fiction is wonderful. I love writing it and reading it. Do you write flash?

      If you get a copy of Hinting at Shadows, I hope you enjoy.

  14. This takes a special skill set. The author sounds incredibly talented! Interesting topics, too. Thanks for the review and sorry I’m a little late to read it. I didn’t get the email notification until this morning. Us and our technical thingy…

    1. Lol Lisa, no worries. Thanks for stopping by. Actually, my posts only come out once a week, every Tuesday, so as not to bombard people’s inbox. So you’re not late at all. 🙂 And yes, you are correct, after reading Sarah’s book I had a whole new appreciation for writing micro-fiction. The writer has to deliver a big thought in so little words, definitely a talent. 🙂 xx

    2. It’s definitely a different type of writing. ? I love it. Not sure how easy it would be for me to write an epic 700 page fantasy. Thank you, Lisa!

  15. Wonderful review, Debby! I’m intrigued.

    1. Thanks Vashti. I too was intrigued by this microfiction. 🙂 x

    2. Intrigued is good. ? Thanks! (Love your poetry, Vashti.)

  16. Fantastic. I am in awe of people who can write so much using such few words. Thanks, Debby! Great review and loved the samples!

    1. I know right? Sarah has the gift. 🙂

    2. Aw, thank you, Olga. ? Micro definitely has power in only a few words. I do love writing it. But, as I’ve said, I’m not sure I could write a 700 page epic novel. I’m in awe of those who can!

    1. Thanks so much Sarah. <3

      1. Thank you, Debby. ? Much appreciated!

        1. My pleasure Sarah. 🙂 xx

  17. This is a great review of Sarah’s book. I’m going to take a quick walk down to Amazon and pick it up. Juliet

    1. Thanks so much for visiting Juliet. I’m glad my review of Sarah’s book inspired you. 🙂

    2. Thanks, Juliet! I hope you enjoy it. Watch your step as you’re walking… Just saying. 😉

  18. Sarah is a very talented writer and I totally agree with you about her book. Each tiny morsel gives us much to contemplate.

    1. Thanks Norah. 🙂

    2. Aw… Thank you, Norah! ? 🙂

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