Book review: Love Stories for Hectic People

I have written past posts about Australian-author-transplanted-to-Italy Catherine McNamara’s fiction, whether it be her debut novel, her short story collection, Pelt or her Rome reading from her latest short story collection, The Cartography of Others.

So I was thrilled when I learned that she’d branched out into flash fiction, and that her latest collection of stories was recently released.

Here’s the official book blurb.

The thirty-three flash fictions of Love Stories for Hectic People explore the alignment of beings that is love. There is love that is vulgar, love that knows no reason; there is love that cradles the act of living, love that springs through the cracks; love that is slaughtered. These tales take place from Italy to Ghana to Greece and London and Tokyo, in grainy cities and muted hotel rooms; there is a Mafia murder, an ambulance rescue worker and a woman whose husband falls off a mountain. There is unchaste attraction and slippery, nuanced love; police violence and porn, and fishing too.

The thirty-three flash fiction stories in this collection explore various aspects of love, and for readers fatigued by our lockdown world, rekindle the faint memories of the ease of crossing international borders in a pre-pandemic existence.


I’ve long been a short story fan – both as a writer and reader – but flash fiction as a form is fairly new to me. For those of you who, like me, are new to the form, flash fiction is a story contained in a few hundred words.

Flash fiction stories rely even more heavily on bold imagery and intense flashes of emotion, and Catherine handles those elements masterfully in this collection. These brief stories deftly imbue a sense of urgency, lust, passion or conceit as we come to perceive lovers and their worlds over the concise span of two pages.

From an inconvenienced man anxious to escape his lover’s medical emergency to return home to his wife and kids to a wife doggedly pursuing her husband’s untimely hiking death halfway around the world, these stories manage to develop rich imagery and intense emotions despite the brevity of the form.

And yes, in our period of COVID-inflicted confinement, being reminded of a hint of our earlier existence crossing borders with ease makes for an enjoyable exercise.

Enjoy these flash fiction love stories for hectic people, and be sure to check out Catherine’s author website below.

Author website:

To Purchase:

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  1. […] Love Stories for Hectic People – Catherine McNamara […]

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