Written by: Paula Limbaugh
It’s no easy task to be able to twine stories together to create a cohesive tale. Told by 5 very different authors, you’ll find yourself being mesmerized as each story winds through the streets of Priory like tentacles reaching out attached to a common core. Each is its own entity, but together they make a whole. As the title states this is a story of outsiders, those who don’t fit in for one reason or another. Come in; take a peek of the going-ons in this tight-knit little community. Start your visit with Kevin Lucia’s forward; here he will introduce you to the community.
Gary Fry opens with The Subprime, here we meet Lee a young up and coming lad in the mortgage business. Lee has a problem though, he has a conscience. Feeling he no longer fits in with the company’s policies he is ready to call it quits. But, Mr. Philips, his boss has other plans. He invites Lee to dinner at his home in Priory, where Lee finds out the terrible truth of what happens to those who resist conformity.
In Impossible Colours by James Everington we read of Michala, a woman of mixed ethnicity. Working as a community officer in the town of Exham it’s hard fitting in when surrounded by a sea of white faces, but she manages. Shortly after a confrontation with the town racist, he is found dead in Priory; suicide they say. Michala isn’t buying it; there is something unsettling about Priory and the people within.
Ryan and his wife are active members in the community of Priory. Ryan solicits donations and recruits new members for the compound. His wife works for the church and closely with Erich the founder of their church. All was fine until the day their son died. Stephen Bacon’s Stolen from the Sea is a story of loss. How sometimes with grief one can tend to disconnect and no longer find solace in what was.
Aah, Precious Things. What was once held dear can turn into fear. V.H. Leslie offers an interesting tale of alienation. Petra and Bernard thought they found the ideal community in which to retire. Bernard was a mineralogist and the setting of Priory offered a perfect location for the pair to stay active together with Bernard’s passion for precious stones. But alas, that wasn’t to be. Bernard has become secretive in his dealings with Erich, the community leader and has taken to locking Petra out of his study. Then comes the day when she must enter the study, and what she finds inside defies her worst fears.
Wrapping up the telling of the tale is Rosanne Rabinowitz with Meat, Motion and Light. Claudia grew up in Priory, being the only black family in the community was hard. Enduring relentless teasing from classmates as a child, Claudia is finally making a life outside of Priory’s walls while attending university. Then one day she gets a call from her mother, she is summoned back to Priory. All those old fears come back to the surface, what will she face this time?
And so we end our time in Priory with an afterword by Joe Mynhardt, the editor and publisher of this fine read. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have!