A Hole in the Pavement - Tahlia Newland
"A Hole in the Pavement" by Tahlia Newland was originally published as part of her collection, "A Matter of Perception". I'll get back to you on a review of the collection as a whole because the quality of this story means I HAVE to read more :)

What makes it so good? Well, the writing first. It has an easy, assured quality that makes it a pleasure to read. Then there is the fact that I ventured out of my comfortable reading rut to discover what "Magic Realism", which is how Tahlia's writing is described, feels like. It feels wonderful. Do you remember how much you loved Aesop's Fables as a kid? "A Hole in the Pavement" gave me that same sense of a gifted storyteller guiding us through a fable, albeit in a contemporary setting -- and with no talking animals.

Maybe "fable" is the wrong word. I'm looking for a descriptor for a story that delves into life and adds a touch of magic to illumine how to live it -- with courage.

The characters, Norris and his goddess, are warm and appealing. They could so easily have been left as undeveloped stereotypes to advance the plot and story message. Instead, Norris charmed me.

The magic of "A Hole in the Pavement" was the strength with which relationships were portrayed and developed, including the relationship a person has with themselves, the element of self-perception.

A delightful read, perfect for the lunch hour.