Small Holes in the Silence

Grace, Patricia

  13 Reviews

This is a collection of short stories highlighting a variety of urban, rural, New Zealand, overseas, tribal, and contemporary themes. The world Patricia Grace depicts, is an often stark and unsentimental place in which people struggle against ageing, rejection, violence, and betrayal. Grace's sympathy for the underdog and the view of the outsider is a constant thread drawing the stories together. NZ Interest. [Larger font]

Comments from Groups

Thoughtful, emotional and provoked good discussion. We enjoyed the language and non-judgemental tone. Amazing variety. Taupo 006

Grace has an ability to use the simplest of language to express complex emotions and philosophies. Hokianga 001

Each of us talked of a favourite story at our meeting. All very different, and we agreed she is an author who writes very movingly and sensitively with great insight into common happenings. Whanganui 005

Great storyteller. Parnassus 001

Patricia Grace has an incredible gift at capturing the outsiders of society. Auckland 097

Differing views of how satisfying a short story can be, but everyone enjoyed the beautiful language and the sense of many incidental moments being precious. Opotiki 001

Such an interesting and diverse collection. Paihia 002



Certainly made for an interesting discussion. Issues such as global warming, mental health and hope were all touched upon. Some thought it dark, and some thought that in the end there is always hope. A good read.
Group enjoyed this book as a "pick up and put down" book. We thought the author had very real talent at 'painting pictures' with her descriptive passages.
The group had mixed views - some felt it was excellent, others found it didn't grab them, and still others found it too simplistic. Good discussion though - led on to discussion of Maori culture.
WELL 022
Patricia Grace has such a strong local voice - clear and easy to read with understated observation of everyday occurrences, often expressed in beautiful language. Her turn of phrase can be highly evocative. Her attempts to adopt a male persona and that of a Russian woman were less authentic, but the stories they framed were nonetheless successful.
FERN 001
We all love Patricia Grace as an author but we found the short stories strangely unmemorable. Perhaps because we didn't get to know the characters very well before the end of the story! Wonderful snapshots of Maori culture and spiritualism.
WELL 130
Some were pleasantly surprised as they did not normally read short stories by choice. Others really appreciated the quality of the writing, themes and variety.
A great book to provoke discussion! We each enjoyed her writing and the quirky way she conveyed atmosphere. Some people liked a particular story - and gave good reasons why. Several enjoyed 'Busy Lines' best. The discussion questions drew out other aspects, and the value of a group discussion gave each of us perspectives which individuals had not noted. We all thought it was a particularly good meeting!
We were inspired by Patricia Grace's writing yet again. Simple yet complex clear insights into the lives of ordinary people. refreshing.
TAUR 022
All bar one loved these stories. Most were already Patricia Grace fans. Each stories repays careful attention as, though short, there is a lot in them. Grace is a master of eloquent understatement, meaningfully portraying the humanity of all her characters and giving a window into the essential Maoriness of Maori. Her dialogues seem so natural, so alive - she is a true master.
On the whole the group found the brevity of these stories frustrating, though they did offer an insight into a bicultural N.Z.
RICH 009
Creates atmosphere quickly and effectively - we were taken back in time and could picture where these stories might have taken place. Enjoyed this so much.
NAP 021
This book was enjoyed by many, although about a third do not like short stories and so didn't enjoy it. The rest of us did however - she is a wonderful observer and a fine painter of words!
AUCK 376
Beautiful writing, poetic and rich. We related well to the New Zealand references, and recognised the wonder of going to a different country. The story about 'Pa Wars" was a wonderful insight into young love, and the coincidence of the two young people who have had a sign that they want to have a child together.