Review of Tobin Rickard’s Momma

When it comes to short stories, the author doesn’t have the freedom to flesh-out the story to the extent of a novel, or even a novella, which is why they usually focus on one moment in time. With Tobin Rickard’s Momma, the focus is on a little boy and the danger of being trapped alone, without any food or water.

With such a premise, you’d expect a sense of claustrophobia throughout the events. However, we are deprived of that, and instead provided with a tedious story with little to no characterisation. Rickard carefully guides the reader by the hand, explaining what doesn’t need to be explained. It gets to the point that when the story reaches its climax, you just don’t seem to care. Adding in some awkward prose and repetition, what could have gone wrong with Momma seems to have gone wrong.

Perhaps the biggest problem the story has is the believability of its main character. Here, we are  presented with a child no older than three. From the get-go, that would already add a sense of dread. However, as the story progresses, you soon come to realise that this isn’t a child, but someone trying to be one, releasing away any of that dread you’d want, or expect, with a premise such as the one in Momma.

Deprived of any subtlety, mixed in with some awkward prose and repetition, it’s a story that’d be told by a friend, with them explaining every last detail to you.

Want to check out the story for yourself? It is currently available for free on Kindle. However, you need to hurry as it’s only available for a few days. Link here: Momma by Tobin Rickard.

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