Loss is a universal concept that stretches across all ethnicities and walks of life among people. In her collection of five short stories, aptly called Theft, N. S. Koenings explores loss as it is perceived by her parade of varied and interesting characters. In Pearls to Swine, we read about an idealistic woman who, in essence, has her pride and self identity stolen when things don't pan out as she expects. Wonderous Strange takes us on a journey into the hope of other worlds, which may or may not rob us of our foothold into reality. The title story, Theft, no only deals with material theft, but the theft of security and idealism. Sister for Shama is a strange but entrancing story of compassion and imagination. Lastly, Setting Up Shop quite effectively demonstrates how one can lose everything because of a desperate want of something out of reach.
The writing style is reminiscent of 19th century masters--delicate, beautifully intricate, and vibrantly descriptive. Koenings has an impressive grasp of the "feel" of other cultures and reveals those feelings to us in a wonderful way. I highly recommend this collection.
Disclosure: This book was given to the reader by the publisher/author in exchange for an objective review.