Pieces Like Pottery by Dan Buri
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of our review.
In this distinct selection of stories marked by struggle and compassion, Pieces Like Pottery is a powerful examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption.
Filled with graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love mirroring themes from each of the five Sorrowful Mysteries. In Expect Dragons, James Hinri learns that his old high school teacher is dying. Wanting to tell Mr. Smith one last time how much his teaching impacted him, James drives across the country revisiting past encounters with his father’s rejection and the pain of his youth. Disillusioned and losing hope, little did James know that Mr. Smith had one final lesson for him.
In The Gravesite, Lisa and Mike’s marriage hangs in the balance after the disappearance of their only son while backpacking in Thailand. Mike thinks the authorities are right—that Chris fell to his death in a hiking accident—but Lisa has her doubts. Her son was too strong to die this young, and no one can explain to her why new posts continue to appear on her son’s blog.
Twenty-Two looks in on the lives of a dock worker suffering from the guilt of a life not lived and a bartender making the best of each day, even though he can see clearly how his life should have been different. The two find their worlds collide when a past tragedy shockingly connects them.
A collection of nine stories, each exquisitely written and charged with merciful insight into the trials of life, Pieces Like Pottery reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter in life and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.
How This Book Made Me Feel: Wow. It is an emotional book. You want your heart strings pulled on and to be hit where all those feels are? Read this book. Don’t get me wrong – it was an emotional and all those feels kind of book in all the right ways. Each sad story left me feeling either grateful for what I have, what I have overcome, or thinking deeply about life and the trivial sorrows I currently burden. It also gave new meaning to the saying “Don’t be quick to judge, everyone is going through battles you know nothing about”.
I LOVED the intricate nature the author pulled all the stories together. They interweaved and you would find yourself thinking “Holy Cow – Small World” – which is a common thought in everyday life..
I will try to give a quick review on each individual of the 5 main small stories without giving away any of the plot – that is the hard part! They all teach great lessons, but I don’t want to give away how!
The Gravesite: Wow, just wow. I was drawn to this story trying to relate to both sides. I found myself torn between which one I would find myself reacting more like. It being the first main story of the book, I had hopes for a happy ending the whole time..
Twenty- Two: This one REALLY got me thinking. Like A Lot. I cried at the end of this story – when the bartender and the dock worker shared their stories. I am a dive bar type of girl, and I hang at the local one in my small town and see regular faces whenever I go in there that I can always count on being there. I will always wonder about them and their lives now after reading this story. I also feel I have a stronger urge to forgive and understand people make mistakes.
Expect Dragons: This one can strike a chord for anyone (unless maybe you were homeschooled). Everyone had that ONE teacher who said or did something or just was and changed their lives because of it. That teacher that just got you and touched home and made you not hate school. In this story, the boy has recently found out that teacher for him is going to pass away soon and he heads across the country for one last visit. Only it wouldn’t be a visit without another lesson learned 😉 This same individual is currently fighting a battle he has been fighting since childhood. The struggle is real and it is a very large and sad topic in our current society. Needless to say – he isn’t the only one that learns a lesson in this one, everyone who reads this one I believe will think back to that teacher for them, and think twice before they judge again as well.
Father: I don’t consider myself a very religious person – and I definitely am guilty of making un-warranted jokes about Catholicism, mainly Catholic Priests.. This one made me feel bad for EVERY joke I ever made, and every stereotype I ever believed. I think this story tied with Twenty- Two for my favorite 2 – the two that really hit me the hardest. It’s not right. The world is not right. People are not right.. But the truly good, the truly higher population have nothing to worry about and could care less about the judgements of those on earth. They know the only true judgement that matters is beyond those that think they are worthy of that judgement on earth’s comprehension even. Be a good person, no matter what, and judge no one no matter what – that is how you will feel and want to live your life after this one.
The Ballad of Love & Hate: Because of the first 4 stories, I was waiting for the sad twist and big painful lesson in this one throughout the whole thing. There is a lesson – but a happy one! Yes there is pain and sadness felt while reading this one, but more so I felt myself relating to both characters. I found myself thinking about my significant other and how I may make him feel sometimes and how he makes me feel.. I found myself wanting that unconditional and undeniable love forever. I found myself counting down the days more so until we get to the Ocean together on our next trip 😉 And in the end, I found myself happy for the happy ending! I wanted to meet Maria. I wanted to tell Al he is a good man. I wanted to learn more about them together as a couple. I wanted to see a chic flic made about them 😉 there was a lot I wanted for them and to know about their following weeks together, but I was also happy just knowing they were the true meaning of a perfect love.
Final Words on Pieces Like Pottery: It’s a little bit of a slow read, but I do recommend this one. It’s not going to be a book turned movie, or the most talked about book of the year or anything like that – but it is going to make you feel, make you think, and change your perspective.
About the Author
Dan Buri’s first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and has spent time at #1 on multiple bestseller lists, including for inspirational short stories and inspirational fiction. The writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.
Mr. Buri’s non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.
Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World’s Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.