It’s day5 on the Fierce Ink Press Takeover Week. A quick description of what a ‘Fierce Short’ is before I get started on my review. To quote from the Fierce Ink Press website, “Fierce Shorts are creative non-fiction pieces about all things teen. Love, friends, school, family, fitting in, standing out. For some it’s a trip down memory lane, for others it’s a breath of relief that they aren’t alone.”
It seemed fitting that on the last day of my weeklong adventure of reviewing pieces from Fierce Ink Press, that the last piece read was set in Sackville, Nova Scotia. Why’s it fitting you ask? I was born and raised in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia and I couldn’t help but smile as I read about the familiar streets, lakes and surburban like feeling that Chris Benjamin writes about in Cuisve.
We first meet Chris as he’s about to board a plane to St. Lucia. This visit to St. Lucia isn’t the kind of vacation that involves pina coladas and lying out in the sun for a tan. This is the kind of visit that will be three months long of living like a resident of St. Lucia, because he’s signed up for an exchange program where he and his friend Ben have taken turns living in one another’s world. Of course, for Chris, everything seems familiar and known to him in his hometown and he expects this world to be shocking to Ben. Of course there are some things that are different, but for the most part he doesn’t seem too fazed. The same can’t be said of Chris, who takes some time to adjust to the St. Lucia lifestyle. His confusion and adjusting takes on a different meaning when he meets a man by the name of Dingo.
This is a story of how your upbringing and culture have a hand in making you who you are, but taking the time to experience other’s culture is equally as important. Opening yourself up to the unknown, even when it’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done will help you learn about how other’s live and most importantly, will help you grow.
My thanks to Fierce Ink Press for allowing me the opportunity to read and review Cuisve by Chris Benjamin.