In the past, anthologies have been hit or miss, sometimes sharing worlds connected by an author or theme, sometimes disjointed with little to recommend. I've been lucky lately to be able to read anthologies of the first type, written by talented authors sharing their visions and dreams. Mosaics: A Collection of Independent Woman is a top-notch collection, with tales of varying lengths, time periods, and endings, but all with the theme of women celebrating their strength, sometimes in unique ways.
Susan Kaye Quinn starts out this collection by sharing a little of her own story that led her to the path of becoming a strong woman who constantly battles against the expectations and requirements that others tried placing on her. She is a brilliant role-model and someone who I look up to, so it's always great reading more about her and getting an insight into her thoughts.
The stories themselves range from flash fiction and poetry to longer short stories, long enough to give you a satisfying story while being short enough to allow a great variety without any one story overpowering the others. Some of the stories are reinterpretations of fairy tales and myths, some stories are set in the future, some in the past, and some deal with the more mundane aspects of our current events. While I had some stories that I would consider "favorites," all of the stories are enjoyable and I would encourage others to pick up stories by any of these authors.
To me, four stories stood out as the strongest. I say this only because they stayed in my mind the longest, making me wish they were longer, or that I had more about that same character to read. These stories are "The Girl Made of Glass" by Ari Harradine, "Happily Ever After in Twelve Stained Glass" by Keyan Bowes, "The Reluctant Flesheater" by Naomi Elster, and "The Queen of Lakes" by L.S. Johnson. The last story, "The Queen of Lakes" fascinated me the most, and I hold out hope that this author expands on this character and the world she lives in.
In addition to Susan Kaye Quinn's foreword, this anthology contains the following stories:
The Wax Anatomist's Daughter - Deborah Walker
The Girl Made of Glass - Ari Harradine
Somaleze's Children - Chelo Diaz-Ludden
Happily Ever After in Twelve Stained-Glass Panels - Keyan Bowes
Kayuga at Leisure - Caroline M. Cao
Book of Lilith - P.K. Tyler
Adventures in Gaming - Tonya Liburd
Pain Relief - Julie Rea
Open Space - Kelsey Maki
Star Girl and Captain Obvious Meet the Troll - Kim Wells
The Day the Wind Stopped Blowing - Patty Somlo
Synergy/Contradictions - Elizabeth S. Wolf
The Chinchorro Boy - Sarina Dorie
The Last Automaton - Jordanne Fuller
Femina Virtus - Keira Michelle Telford
Space Loses Its Allure When You've Lost Your Moon Cup - Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
The Reluctant Flesheater - Naomi Elster
The Living Wood - Karen Heuler
The Queen of Lakes - L.S. Johnson
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.