#RRBC #BookReviews – Mountain Justice and Metal Caste: Short Story

Book reviews

Mountain Justice by Karen Black

My review

Mountain Justice is an intense and short read about a woman who is the victim of horrific physical and mental abuse by her husband. Anne is six months pregnant when her savage and mentally unstable husband beats her nearly to death because he thought she looked at another man with interest. Annie is discovered, beaten and bleeding, by her old school friend, veterinarian, Rob, who also helps her care for her horse, Czar. Due to his early intervention, Annie lives, although she loses her baby, and returns to live on the farm, which is actually hers. Her husband, George, is sent to prison for five years.

During this five year period, Annie continues her life on the farm while George nurses his hatred for her from afar. He blames her for his imprisonment and vows to punish her. At the end of the five years, George is released from prison and at the same time, Annie’s horse starts behaving in a strange and unsettled way.

This story is short so there isn’t a lot of character development, but Annie did come across as a strong woman with an inherent survival streak and quick reactions. Rob is sensitive and his attachment to both Annie and her horse allow him to tune in to out of place events and circumstance, thereby, saving Annie’s life early in the story and working out his help is needed later in the story.

George only features as a sullen and savage personality and it is distressing and awful to read about him, knowing that there are men out there like him who treat their womenfolk so badly.

An insightful short story which will keep you turning the pages.

Purchase Mountain Justice

Caste Metal: Short Story by Fiza Pathan

My review

This is an incredibly moving novella and I am astonished at how long I reflected on this story.
“He wore a clay cup the size of an English teacup with a thread under his mouth and a broom tied to his waist with a rag from his nineteen-year-old mother’s saree.” When I read this description, I thought it sounded rather odd. Why would an eight year old child where a cup tied under his chin? What could the broom be for? As this story unfolded and I grew to understood the meaning of these physical signs of the lowest caste in India, I was infused with a huge horror. It seems incomprehensible that an entire grouping of people could be so badly mistreated. Of course, I know that such awful systems existed in the past, in India and in many other countries in the world, but it is still difficult to get your mind around such an unfair and impossibly selfish system with my modern mindset.

The little boy in this story is a gifted child and it does seem rather amazing that such giftedness would be overlook and vilified in any society, but this was the law of the land at this time. Untouchables could not learn to read, in particular, they could not read the scriptures.

For me one of the best things about this short book is that it taught me so much about life in India at this time, but it still managed to end on an uplifting note and demonstrate that in every situation and circumstance there have always been those people who believe in love of their fellows and go to great lengths to demonstrate it, often at extreme personal risk.

Well done to the author on this intensely moving book.

Purchase Caste Metal by Fiza Pathan

36 thoughts on “#RRBC #BookReviews – Mountain Justice and Metal Caste: Short Story

  1. I have read both of these stories and they were both really good reads, especially Caste Metal! Fiza Pathan doesn’t mind getting into the nitty gritty of situations and exposing them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Jan, Caste Metal is the first of Fiza’s books I have read and it was so emotional for me, living in Africa, which also has so much poverty and disregard for the rights of women and children. I have selected another short story of hers from the March list.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wasn’t familiar with this story from Fiza. Thanks for sharing, Robbie. Her work does indeed leave one reflecting after the read is done.
    Since I’ve lived though the real thing, and the nightmare never really ends, I don’t read stories about abuse, and rarely appreciate them. However, I’ve just gotten one of Karen’s other stories.
    Lovely work on your part as always. I always enjoy your insights and the mindful way you review books. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Robbie! I read Caste Metal by Fiza Pathan, and it was a gripping story. I was moved to tears more than once while reading. I have Karen’s book in my kindle. Thanks for the great reviews.💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it definitely was terrible, Denise. Every country in the world has had a system like this at some point in history and cruelty was the name of the game. I often think of the Vikings and the Romans and how terribly they were.


  4. Servants on their owners plantations were forbidden to read, and many white “crackers” reassured by the color of their skins, enjoyed the misery of them nigra, and if they needed some remind’in, well sir, there’s a big oak down there…

    The GA legislature just passed a law agaisnt lynching last week!

    But it wasn’t unanimous, and don’t bet on the gov. to sign it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They are though important to read if you can. To help someone. Though not everyone wants help at certain times. The cycle is deep like that. Hopefully, they get it before it’s too late. We can recognize the signs though in a daughter/sister/brother (Yes, even men fall into these vicious relationships as we all know) and offer them support while they seek a way out.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Robbie – I enjoyed both these reviews very much. I like short fiction and novellas and especially the ones that give you so much to think about, in so few words. In addition, these both sound like stories that make you uncomfortable, also forcing you to think. Great reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

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