Portraits of the Past by Michael Whelton
– a collection of bittersweet tales –
Life, death and all things in between, including the decisions that we make or have thrust upon us; how we face the consequences and how we allow those consequences to shape our destinies. Such are the themes and narratives that emerge in Portraits of the Past, a collection of short stories and flash fiction from Michael Whelton, which has just been published.
Poignant moments and personal epiphanies are skilfully captured in a collection of bittersweet tales that are usually self-contained but often hinting at a larger story. The stories themselves are told with honesty, candour and a sense of humour that always shines through, even as the characters portrayed themselves seem to dwell in a certain twilight.
She caressed the faded ribbon and thought of returning it to the secret drawer. Realising that this would only perpetuate the dream, she tenderly dropped it. The love knot burned, closing an unfulfilled chapter in her life.– Michael Whelton, from the story, Kismet, published as part of the collection, Portraits of the Past
Carefully crafted, written with keen observation and rare insight, the author’s style is inviting. In the end, we are left with a powerful sense of the intensity of living in this world, coupled with an understanding of what it means to be alive within the context of it.
Michael Whelton is a retired medical doctor who has lived and worked in Cork for most of his life but, has also travelled extensively. Both of these circumstances are reflected in his writings. It could be said that, much like what Joyce did for Dublin, Michael Whelton does for his own native city, with his naturalistic depictions that allow time to stand still for just long enough to afford the reader a glimpse inside.
Portraits of the Past by Michael Whelton is published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher. It is available to buy online. RRP €12 plus P&P.
Watch out for other books by Michael Whelton coming soon. Through the Pages of History: an art, music and medical miscellany is a collection of essays that will also be published this summer while a volume of memoirs, No Plough Stops, will be coming out in autumn.