Tara Fox Hall’s writing career began in the pages of a small print magazine, Catnip Blossoms!, that a friend, Harald Moore, put out to promote his catnip farm in Johnsonville, New York. One short non-fiction article followed another, detailing her adventures saving wildlife, her experiences living on an acreage, and more than a few humorous recountings detailing the antics of her wacky pets.
Written to delight, fascinate, and move readers, her simple but enchanting stories of country life quickly found a following. Tara kept publishing stories for the next five years, even as the name of the magazine changed to Meanwhile, and then to On The River, when the catnip farm went out of business, and Harald moved with his family to a new home near a river. These previously published stories are collected here for the first time with new added content, in the hopes of bringing a little more hope and inspiration into everyday life.
Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4 stars
Uplifting and inspiring
DEEP BREATHS: TALES OF HOPE AND INSPIRATION is an uplifting collection of short stories on life seen through the author’s experiences with nature, animals and people. Though there were some essays that merely state a certain experience that the author has with her cats and dogs, for example, there are several stories that contain nuggets of wisdom and inspiring, universal life messages.
Sometimes, I rush through life so fast that reading these real-life short stories is just what I need to pause and take stock of life. I like several stories, but I’ll name only a few and what I feel about them.
“Sunset” is a poignant piece, bittersweet and yet, contrary as it may seem, uplifting as well. “Hope” is one of the stories and messages I like best. Let me quote some inspiring sentences from there: “Don’t give in to despair, and fear. Choose instead to hope. Break fear’s paralyzing hold and give life all you’ve got.”
“Travelling Backroads” is one of the stories I like as well, about opening your mind to possibilities. The message in “Faith” was spot on. I believe all things are perspective, depending on what you believe. “Trapped by Hunger” reminds me of an all-too true truth of how hunger can drive us onward, but that we need to be careful lest we be trapped by it.
The author’s thoughts flow well, and the writing is easy to read and get into. She tells an interesting story with each piece, using simple words to convey both the story and the message, all too often a universal truth that serve as a reminder or an eye-opener. This is a book that cannot be read fast like adventure or romance. But it is to be savored, to pause and ponder over in one of those quiet times we all should indulge in each day.