Review by Laura Besley
In Bed with Melon Bread (Dreich Shorts, 2021) by Leonie Rowland is a chapbook tantalizing in its sweet tanginess that I devoured in one sitting.
Within each of these eight stories, there is a depth of alone- and loneliness. From the girl with cats painted on her nails watching a man in a booth on the other side of the restaurant, to the woman in a glass-walled teahouse, to the girl who “started visiting the cinema alone in preparation for death.”
The characters’ despair is underscored with a touch of quirkiness, making the stories even more palatable. In the title story, the protagonist receives slices of toast in paper packages, crumbs spilling all over the floor.
Rowland’s prose is bold and confident, not a word out of place and In Bed With Melon Bread will merely whet your appetite, leaving you hungry – No, ravenous! – for more.
Laura Besley is the author of micro fiction collection, 100neHundred (Arachne Press, 2021), and flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers (Dahlia Books, 2020).
She has been listed by TSS Publishing as one of the top 50 British and Irish Flash Fiction writers. Her work has been nominated for Best Micro Fiction and her story, To Cut a Long Story Short, will appear in the Best Small Fiction anthology in 2021.
Having lived in the Netherlands, Germany and Hong Kong, she now lives in land-locked central England and misses the sea.