In a moving new short story collection, Martha Hall Kelly (Lilac Girls), Paula McLain (The Paris Wife), Olivia Hawker (The Fire and the Ore), Esi Edugyan (Washington Black), Fiona Davis (The Lions of Fifth Avenue), Thomas Keneally (Schindler’s List), and Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing) join together, uncovering the choices we make and the effects that ripple outward.
Called A Point in Time, published by Amazon Original Stories, the new collection features emotionally charged short stories that examine the foundations of the past, uncovering the irreversible decisions and life-changing encounters that mark the turning point between before and after.
From the swamps of Louisiana to the barracks of a German concentration camp, Carnegie Hall to the Apollo 11 mission, the stories will transport readers across time. Get a sneak peek at the stories below—perfect for book clubs and fans of historical fiction—then download as a Kindle eBook or Audible audiobook, free to Prime and Kindle Unlimited subscribers, or $1.99 for non-members, at the A Point in Time collection page.
To find more free short books and audiobooks for your Kindle, head to the Amazon Original Stories hub for mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi, fairy tales, nonfiction, and more, available to read or listen to in one sitting.
A woman’s life-altering discovery after her mother’s death sheds light on the best and worst of humanity in Naomi's Gift, a haunting short story by New York Times best-selling author Martha Hall Kelly.
After her mother’s passing, Aldona finds a tin filled with old letters from a prisoner at Ravensbrück, a women’s concentration camp in northern Germany. Amid the descriptions of daily deprivations and humiliations at the camp, she uncovers the heart-wrenching story of a small circle of women who risked their lives to hide a baby girl from the guards. Aldona is rocked to the core by this record of courage and sisterhood during one of the grimmest chapters of human history.
By Paula McLain
Ash Wednesday is a wrenching short story based on a real-life tragedy near Cleveland, Ohio. New York Times best-selling author Paula McLain reflects on one family’s perseverance in the face of the unthinkable.
On Ash Wednesday in 1908, Swiss-German immigrant Fritz Hirter arrives at his children’s school, where he is the lone custodian. But soon after lessons start, a fast-moving fire breaks out—its cause is unknown, but its effects are horrifying. Although Fritz is soon cleared of any responsibility for the catastrophe, the community continues to suspect him, supremely testing Fritz and his family.
Doubt plagues a new marriage when a young NASA engineer focuses more on the Apollo 11 Moon landing than his own future in Landing, a poignant short story by best-selling author Olivia Hawker.
Alan is able to imagine every way critical equipment might break during the launch and landing of Apollo 11. But his experience in preventing cosmic disasters does nothing to prepare him for the pressures of a hasty marriage to a woman he barely knows—or the strain of keeping up appearances amid the shifting social attitudes of the late ’60s. When a crisis at home forces Alan back to Earth, he’s faced with a choice he doesn’t know how to make: whether to let go or move forward.
We Are Bone & Earth
By Esi Edugyan
We Are Bone & Earth is a moving short tale of one girl’s search for her lost brother. Award-winning author Esi Edugyan offers a vivid, unique perspective on a lesser-known corner of the West African slave trade.
At a fort in Cabo Vermelho in 1779, Sisi, a West African girl with a gift for languages, works as a translator for her English enslavers. She was separated from her younger brother after they were kidnapped from their village by the ahosi—fierce female warriors who serve a neighboring king—and her guilt over her failure to protect him has never left her. When unexpected news reaches the fort, Sisi must find her voice, for her brother’s sake and for her own.
A Wild Rose
By Fiona Davis
A troubled concert pianist searches for a new inspiration among the hidden back hallways of Carnegie Hall in A Wild Rose, best-selling author Fiona Davis’s bold short story of artistic ambition in 1950s New York.
World-renowned pianist Gloria Banderas is at the height of her career when a curious ailment forces her to cancel a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall. The same day, she befriends one of the many free-spirited artists inhabiting the warren of apartments above the theater. With her career and marriage at a standstill, Gloria moves into an empty studio and convalesces among the poets, photographers, and dancers who eke out a living with total dedication to their art. As a return to her old routine beckons, Gloria must decide which parts of her life are worth fighting for.
A young autistic woman finds her voice and a path toward justice in Alison's Conviction, an uplifting short story about the power of family history by Thomas Keneally, award-winning author of Schindler’s List.
When Alison Strange receives a debt claim she can’t afford to pay from the Australian government’s unemployment office, she’s caught completely off-balance. As she wrestles with a slippery bureaucracy, her history-loving grandfather bolsters her resolve with the story of their ancestor John Strange, an English cobbler who was banished to Australia for his part in a political movement. Drawing inspiration from John’s life, Alison finds her own unique way to demand a future that’s fair for all.
By Jesmyn Ward
A fever dream of the past that ripples outward to the modern world, Mother Swamp by two-time National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward is a powerful short story that draws inspiration from the hidden communities built by people escaping slavery.
Afice is the last of nine generations of women who have survived enslavement, sickness, and hunger. Alone at age 17, she sets out through the Louisiana swamps to follow the trail of her ancestors and hear their songs anew. On this journey, Afice must decide how to honor her ancestors while embracing her own future.