“The World More Full Of Weeping” by R.J. Wiersema

I picked this up based on the title, a reference to a Yeats poem, “The Stolen Child.” The World More Full Of Weeping falls somewhere between a long short story and a novella.

The story follows a young boy from a fractured, loving family as he seeks solace and freedom in the expansive woods behind his house. In the woods, he’s befriended by a young presence who reveals the mysticism of the forest to him. The relationship between the boy and the presence develops like two children slowly becoming best friends. It’s natural and well done.

The mystic parts of the woods are handled simply, focusing on beauty and appreciation rather than throwing back the veil and revealing a wild phantasmagoria. I liked that, that discretion runs through the whole tale.
When the boy fails to return home a search is undertaken and his father  realizes he’d also been befriended by the presence in his youth.

I’m not going to get into the ending, but to say it was multi-layered and satisfying. This is a simple tale of guilt and loss and wonder, made rich by Wiersema’s character development, setting and eloquent prose.

I spent a lot of time in the woods as a kid in a town not terribly unlike the one in this story. It held a certain nostalgia for me that could only be conjured by someone who had the same intimate knowledge of those places and the people that populate them. To that end, this volume also includes an essay exploring how fictional environments become doppelgangers of their real counterparts.

I snagged this for an afternoon read on the Kindle and discovered a writer I will keep an eye on going forward.

Cross-Posted From The Aberrant Laboratory

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