I’ve become a fan of Audible Originals, especially the short stories. They let me slip into something intense and self-contained for an hour or two and they let me sample the work of authors that I’m unfamiliar with.
‘Grieving Conversations’ by Chris Cander is a great example. I went into it blind and came out fifty-five minutes later with a new author to add to my TBR list.
In this beautifully crafted short story, Chris Cander kept me engaged in Sheriff Brody Hayes’ race to find a baby abandoned in the woods before the child dies of hypothermia while also trawling the memories that the search triggers for Brody: of the brother he lost to grief, of his own search for the kind of love his brother found and had taken from him and of his own failure to make a life with the mother of his young son. The two stories, Hayes’ frantic search for the baby and his re-examination of the choices in his own life, fit together seamlessly, each amplifying the other.
By the end of the story, I felt I knew as much about Brody Hayes as if I’d spent an entire novel in his company and I was invested in what he would decide to do next.
Neil Helligers’ narration was excellent, catching every nuance of the emotions Hayes’ actions and reflections were triggering while keeping a level of urgency into the story.