Short Story Review: ‘Reading Turkish Coffee’ by Laura Lewis

Story Title: ‘Reading Turkish Coffee’ by Laura Lewis
Collection/Anthology?: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology 4 (Bristol Review of Books)
Date Read: 15th March 2012
Briefly: Alma escaped from troubles in Syria long ago, when she was a childhood bride. Now middle-aged Alma, ekes out a life in a different country as a displaced refugee, working as a cleaner in an art school. Reading her fortune in the coffee grinds of her cup one day, Alma sees that she is about to come face-to-face with a long lost ghost.
Afterthoughts: New Zealand-based Laura Lewis wholeheartedly deserves her third place in the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize, with a story that resonates with cultural richness. It’s surprising to read that this is Lewis’ first published story, because her prose shows the maturity of a more established writer. Ultimately, this is such a mournful tale and yet it sparkles with flecks of hope, and of affection. This is a story that is as delicious I think, as the coffee that briefly features in it. Want to know why I adore short fiction so much? Read this story and you’ll find out why.

Rating: ★★★★☆

This story was read as part of a review of the Bristol Review of Books Anthology 4. If you want to find out more about this collection then I invite you to pop along to my forethoughts post for this title. I also encourage you to make a trip over to the publisher page for this title.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. An intriguing description, Rob, that definitely makes me want to check this out. Thank goodness for the book depository.