I have read and reviewed numerous short story collections here at carp(e).  Most of them contain a theme of some sort; occasionally they’re as apparent as having a group of stories about the same characters.  Other times, the common factor is harder to detect – an emotion, for instance, or an exploration on one facet of the human condition.  With “Where The Dog Star Never Glows” by Tara L. Masih, a common thread I discovered was surprisingly a feeling, or a spirit in the story telling.  That beautiful spirit that permeates Masih’s short stories is nothing short of extraordinary.  Truly written from the heart of a poet, her ability to turn a phrase is more than appealing to this particular reviewer.

Each story is set in an unexpected setting;the island of Dominica, Texas on the Mexican border, India.  Every one is filled with imaginative, solid characters that are easy to connect with, difficult to part with by story’s end.  Most of the stories have the characters placed in the midst of change – sometimes headed for the better, sometimes the worst, often with the location playing a major role.  Throughout the book there permeates an unexpected sense of peace, even as characters battle against tough life decisions.  Settings and people alike are brought to life with well-chosen words handled like paint on a canvas, leaving the reader with lucid imagery and a sense of deep reflection.  

When well written, short stories have the ability to leave the reader with strong emotions in a smaller span of time – often within a mere few pages.  Masih’s stories have managed to stay with me days after finishing the book. The final tale in particular, “Delight”, will hold a special place with me for quite some time.

If you’re a lover of the short story, do yourself a favor and check out “Where The Dog Star Never Glows” by Tara L. Masih.  The vivid colors of this collection certainly will glow, and for a long time.

Want to win your own copy?  We’re giving one away!

Multiple Options for Multiple Entries:

1.) Just tell me about a place that changed you.  Maybe it changed you for the better, or maybe it was for the worst. (***You may enter once a day, but please list a new item you like each time.) Remember, leave an interesting comment. If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Blog about, Twitter, and/or Subscribe! Get an extra entry for each of these activities.  This time just leave a separate comment for each (only one time for each extra activity completed), giving me a link to your blog post, your Twitter name, and/or a note saying you’re a subscriber. (Subscribe in the upper right !  

(Psst!  My Twitter name is dkMommy.)

Feel free to do all five to gather multiple entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, to enter.

44 Comments

  1. I am an e-mail subscriber.

  2. A special place that changed my perspective, my outlook and my entire life was a trip that I took many years ago to the ocean. I had never been to a beach before and this made a huge impact upon me. The beach has become my favorite escape.

  3. I am an e-mail subscriber.

  4. Going to camp changed me. It brought me an entirely new experience which I learned a great deal from and met new friends.

  5. a place that changed me was when I was going through my divoece and I bought my own home! It felt so good !I knew that I could depend on ME!!
    .-= Peggy Gorman´s last blog ..Free Charity Cars =-.

  6. Subscriber
    .-= Peggy Gorman´s last blog ..Free Charity Cars =-.

  7. As a healthcare worker, I had been in many physician offices, nursing homes, hospitals, clinics etc. over a career spanning 25 years but never did my outlook on life, core inner values and pure emotion change than my recent trip to the Emergency Room and resulting three day stay in our local community hospital. I thought I was losing my life. From a nightmare experience came my most profound committment to live the life I’ll never forget or regret!!

  8. Has to be yellowstone as it has made me know there is still unspoiled areas out there.

  9. The place that changed me most of all was when I stayed at the hospital with my daughter for almost three weeks, never leaving her side. She’d had so many seizures that when she tried to speak she was like a three year old.

    I know that the doctor was truly a give from above, and shudder to think if we hadn’t found him when we did. I am happy to report my daughter is healthy, happy, and has been seizure free now for almost three years. I know that we owe it all to our daughter’s Neurologist.

    I would love to win this book.

  10. I am an email subscriber

  11. Judith (from Israel)

    Moving to a new city and a new high school changed me. I was very shy but one of the girls in my new high school took me under her wing and introduced me to her circle of friends.

  12. We lived in Germany for three years and that changed me by making in more aware of other customs.

  13. I am an email subscriber.

  14. This sounds really interesting

  15. Hawaii changed me because I was alone on a beautiful island and it put things in perspective.

  16. I subscribe

  17. Email Subscriber :-)

  18. I grew up in the mountains of Virginia. There were hollows and ridges, trees and crystal clear creeks and springs. The mountains enveloped me, cradled me, cloistered me and kept me safe. On my first visit to the desert in the western United States, alone at age 19, I felt for the first time the utter starkness of vast space. There was nowhere to hide and I felt so vulnerable and small. I was frightened and exposed like I had never been before. But amid all of the desolation, I found a small cactus with a tiny red bloom and suddenly I was calm.

  19. I stumbled upon your review of “Where the Dog Star Never Glows” and found myself intrigued. Your review was so compelling that I have subscribed and I intend to get this book, even if I don’t win it. Thank you for finding this collection for me!

  20. I was born in East Africa to an Indian family who had resided on that continent for generations. Over the decades by family had assimilated into that world: the dust, heat, rhythm and colour that was Africa, with many of traditions, passions and resiliency of India; the best of both worlds. I was the last product of that union to be born into that world, the last of many generations that has roots there. When I was three years old my family left due to social, economic and political upheavals leaving behind a world that they loved; a world that was the only thing they recognized to forge a new life in North America. Although my memories are vague and have a hazzy-feel, that place changed me, impacted me and my upbringing. It is part of my daily culture and my being; the foods, languages, and music everyday elements still in my family’s world.

    Aliya D.
    aliydaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

  21. What changed me was moving out of Los Angeles and down to San Diego when I was 32. I went from high stress to a very calm and comfortable life. That made me able to finally have a child.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  22. I had a nanny as a child (my parents were busy working) and was very close to her and still am. I spent many summers through my childhood in her home country of Swedent, on her family’s estate. Running wild, playing in the woods, hunting, fishing, learning about the land, spending countless hours and days with her and her wonderful family. That place changed me and impacted my childhood in a very positive manner. When I look back on the golden memories of play, that space and time in Sweden is what comes to mind.

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

  23. I grew up in Canada and it has had a tremendous impact on the way I think, what I believe and who I am as a person. Honest, open, multi-lingual/cultural/dimensional = Canada and that is what I am. Thanks!

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

  24. I volunteered abroad in some of the worst refugee camps in the world after graduating from High School and while in University; I was in Tanzania (along the Congalese border) in northern Pakistan, etc. The aura of desperation, hopelessness and hope, safety and security and the prevalent smiles on the faces of all those people taught me how lucky I am and that happiness is not acquired through objects and possessions, but through faith, hope, prayer, family, friends and the simple act of living.

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

  25. A place that changed me was the last place I worked. I was surrounded by people, yet all alone. It made me appreciate what I have when I’m with my family and friends.

  26. Italy changed me, it was the first time I’d been out of the US. It opened my eyes to a healthier, non-American way of living!

  27. I went to Kauai, Hawaii and am determined to retire there as soon as possible!

  28. The place that changed me the most was China. In 2004 my family and I travelled to China to adopt a baby girl. I had never been that far away from home before. Heck, I didn’t even have a passport! Going to China had a very profound effect on my life. My daughter is an amazing, smart, and beautiful 6 year old. I thank China for this gift.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  29. email subscriber

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  30. I follow you on Twitter
    @NancyeDavis

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  31. Tweet! Tweet!

    http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/11736306953

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  32. Timothy Chalfant

    Never heard of this book but sounds interesting!!!

  33. Judith (from Israel)

    My first place of work changed me. My co-workers were less industrious, less accurate and less knowledgeable than me and that gave me confidence – which I never had before.

  34. I spent two years of my university abroad which was a great experience. I immersed myself in a new culture and learned from a different perspective, but also made life-long friends.

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

  35. This may sound odd, however, I started a new job about 5 years ago, and I couldn’t believe how wonderful the work environment was at this new place. My previous employer was really hard to deal with and very unethical.

  36. I think when I saw Crater Lake, Oregon was the moment that I realized what beauty we have at our backdoor. God blessed us with the gift of nature and our national parks are true treasures!
    .-= blueviolet´s last blog ..Kemps FroZing Frozen Yogurt {Review and Giveaway} =-.

  37. I’m a subscriber!
    .-= blueviolet´s last blog ..Kemps FroZing Frozen Yogurt {Review and Giveaway} =-.

  38. Buddy Garrett

    College changed me. It broadened my perspective on life.

  39. A place that changed me is Las Vegas. It made more self-reliant.

  40. I subscribed to your blog.