Love stories by Trent Dalton

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This collection of love stories was inspired, for Trent Dalton, by a time in which he was profoundly moved by a love story that someone had told him.  Deciding to set up a table and some chairs on the footpath of a busy intersection in the city of Brisbane, Dalton added an advertisement: stating that he wanted to hear and collect people’s stories of love, if they were willing to tell these to him.  Many people stopped and he was amazed by the tales that he was told, which led him to decide to include these in a book.  Some stories are short, and others longer, as he writes the stories with a dedication to the idea of love, and to its profound effect on people’s lives.  
While every story that he narrates, as told to him by the storytellers, speaks of love and its role in human life, others go further, and speak of the profound importance and effect of love on people’s lives.  Each story reflects our human desire to experience love, to find romance, and for so many people this means sharing their lives with someone whom they love.  So moved by the stories that he hears, he imagines and writes a powerful and moving creed for living in response to people’s ideas.  Profound notions of what love is, and how powerfully love can move us to our deepest core, lead to his long statement about love, beginning with his revelatory understanding that changes his own thinking: beginning with 'I believe we are not alone in the universe …'.  Over two pages his newly realised creed challenges the reader to both wonder and question what life is, what love is, and how we should live our lives.  His eloquent language challenges us, to consider finding out what is our own idea of what life means, and what love is: moving, uplifting, and quite challengingly constructed.  
Written during the time of 'Covid', Dalton’s work displays his notion that we should all be kind, compassionate and understanding of others, seeking to take our minds off the fear of illness and its aftereffects, to make the world at least appear as a safe and good place. His work reflects his character, and his sense of loving kindness as the heart of human experience and need, in turn reflecting the best example of humans rising above the evil, the awful experiences that so many people have been through, and most of all our capacity to offer goodness, kindness and love to others, in love’s many different forms.  It is a different and wonderful book, appropriate for adolescent reading, and certainly an inspiring book for adults of all ages.  

Themes: Love, Short stories.

Elizabeth Bondar