Count Our Blessings by Fiona Linday

This delightful little book was a fine accompaniment to my first cup of Yorkshire Tea each morning. It is full of captivating short stories, highlighting some of the most honest and painful occurrences in the lives of everyday people. Just to name a few: there’s menopause, PTSD, disability and family relationships. Linday writes in a way that resonates and the additional songs and poems are beautifully prosed, exploring faith so strongly.

Linday states in her introduction that the book reflects how ‘creative writing has helped [her] express difficult and important issues over the last two decades.’ That speaks for itself about how the book explores the world we live in, over different times and generations. It is a collection of work that Linday has written over time. Each piece of work, if appropriate, also references when it was written, what for and which prizes it won which I thought was a nice touch.

My highlight was the poem entitled ‘Our Picasso Dish.’ This poem resonated so strongly for me, that us as ‘earthen vessels’ can be transformed by the ‘artist beckoning forward’ and out of this can finally come ‘progress’, ‘best practice’ and ‘improved craft.’ That ‘despite any flaw,’ we can become ‘refined art.’ The poem speaks loud and clear about the way God can mould and transform our lives in a positive way if we let him be the artist.

Another piece I really enjoyed was a short story towards the end of the book where Linday relates the concept of COVID ‘new normal’ to the different stages in a woman’s life. It was very touching to read this woman’s account of the changes in life and how we as humans adapt.

Over all, Count Our Blessings is a lovely take on the challenges of life, alongside some more serious notions of what’s to come, ultimately showing how faith and relationships make a serious difference. Plus, as a Nottingham girl myself, it was nice to read about some familiar settings!

I was given a free copy of Count our Blessings. I was under no pressure or obligation to write a good review, these are my own feelings after reading it.