Tender Cuts by Jayne Martin

Jayne Martin’s Tender Cuts is one of my first encounters with flash fiction. We’re talking very short stories: just a page, usually; sometimes only a handful of sentences. I was surprised at how much story and emotion could be packed into such a compact format.

I was not a fan of the drawings at the end of each story. I felt like the words were powerful enough on their own, and the illustrations detracted from that impact.

My favorite stories from this collection include:

  • “Zero Tolerance”
  • “Blue Boy”
  • “Thanksgiving,”
  • “Morning Glory”
  • “Pinky Swear”

And of course, I couldn’t help but feel for beauty pageant contestant Julie-Sue, who we see in different stages of life in her multiple appearances throughout the collection.

This book is perfect for readers who enjoy shorter formats and slice of life fiction. Great choice for readathons, too!