There were some real standouts here, but I think as a whole, this was a 3-star collection for me.
Come Let Us Sing Anyway is a classic Leone Ross work, filled with vibrant, diverse stories with equally vibrant and diverse characters. There are shorter stories and there are longer ones, but in all of them, Ross gives you a strong sense of narrative voice, of emotion, of personal history. My favourites were definitely “Minty Minty” and “And You Know This” (which was so poignant and beautifully written). Having read Ross’s recent novel Popisho, though, I can’t help but feel like Come Let Us Sing Anyway is its less luminous sibling. That’s not to say that the latter is bad, but just that Ross’s writing is so extraordinary when it’s longform rather than in short bursts–and some of these stories are short, sometimes only a page or two long. I always prefer longer short stories to shorter ones–just because we get to spend a little more time with the characters and, as a result, understand them better–so I think I also enjoyed this collection a little bit less because of the brevity of its stories.
Qualms aside, Leone Ross is one of the best writers working today, and I will always, always recommend that you read anything that she comes out with, whether short stories or a full-length novel.
Thank you so much to International Publishers Group for sending me a review copy of this in exchange for an honest review!