Review of ‘Putney High Street,’ by Livvy Buys

The second item that I am reviewing from issue 3 of Kiss-Me-Hardy is Livvy Buys short story 87a Putney High Street. I enjoyed the three perspectives of three different flat mates and how their lives linked together.

The image beside the thumbnail text for this story of a window looking out onto a garden didn’t inspire me or give me any indication of what the story was about. An image of three friends would have been more fitting. Or just a better-quality image.

After reading this story and deciding to review it I realised that I have picked a poem and story by the same author.

I enjoyed this story written in three parts by the perspective of three different flatmates. As each point of view is told it weaves the characters’ lives and how they are connected in the story together.

The story starts with Sophie in the bathroom performing a self-job biki wax, while Helena waits to use the toilet outside the bathroom. Sophie feels that Helena is being impatient and wishes for a bathroom of her own. She is getting herself prepared for a possible date that evening.

The story switches to Helena’s perspective, she has finally got into the bathroom and vents, in her thoughts, her frustrations at Sophie. We learn that Helena thinks that Sophie is the attractive one and that she doesn’t rate herself as good looking. We learn that Helena was born in London, but her family are from Morrocco. The reason that Helena wanted to get into the bathroom was because she was feeling sick from the nausea caused by being pregnant. She’s had a one-night stand and doesn’t want to tell the father of the baby as she doesn’t want to burden him.

We then go to Scott’s perspective. He’s relieved that both women have left the flat to go to work. He does shift work and needs to sleep. We learn that Scott is the man that Sophie has her eye on for a possible date and hopes to hook up with him. She has the idea that Scott likes her back, but Scott actually is in love with Helena and he is the father of her baby. Although he doesn’t know this. Scott describes Helena as intelligent and beautiful, without realising this about herself.  

A love triangle is revealed, and the reader is left bemused, things could get very interesting for these three flatmates. A mirror that Helena brought back from Morocco also links the characters together and shows them as living in the same space. With Sophie loving it as she can do foot to toe checks, Scott dislikes it as he thinks it’s out of place and Helena is the reason it’s there.

The story being broken into three parts makes it easy to read and it doesn’t feel like it’s overly long. The story is well written and has a clever angle.

It is a great contribution to the Kiss Me Hardy magazine.

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