Book Review – The China Factory by Mary Costello



Came to this too late, it’s been sitting on the shelf for ages.

It’s a hugely readable and keenly observed collection of small, delicate stories about quiet lives, small moments, people in fractured relationships. Everything from a woman finding our her ex-husband has dies in a climbing accident to marital infidelity with a sibling, a ‘sort of’ relationship by e-mail all the way to a man finding out that he’s almost at the end of his life.

I’ve had a bit of an attitude change to collections of short stories recently. Over the years I’ve read everything from the brilliant Raymond Carver to collections that had left me stone cold and unengaged. I thought the form itself was probably not for me, that I needed something longer to get my teeth into.

So then recently reading current collections by Hilary Mantel and Andrew Fox reignited my love hugely. This sits squarely with them as one to be pressed into the hands of others wherever possible. Beautiful, internal and universal. Super stuff.