“Then she pushed the board right up and wrote in large letters, bangles jangling in the silence, the words Look Upon The World With Love. Then she sat down at the table.”

Free Love is an early collection of Ali Smith’s short stories. it was published in 1995 and contains the following:

Free love*
A story of folding and unfolding
Text for the day*
A quick one*
Jenny Robertson your friend is not coming
To the cinema
The touching of wood*
Cold iron
The unthinkable happens to people every day
The world with love*

I marked my personal favourites (*) but unlike other collections there weren’t as many stories in this one that have stuck with me.

Even though Free Love is an early collection, there is visible brilliance in these stories. It is just that they are not moving with the same momentum or creating the same level of impact as some of the later stories. And yet, I cannot help but feel that some of the stories are more personal to the author than her later work.

3* (out of 5*)