Short Story: Tess & Tattoos by H.A. Leuschel

Tess & Tattoos
by: H.A. Leuschel

tess and tattoos

**Received in exchange for honest review**


A suspenseful and emotional novella exploring whether we can ever be free from our past mistakes.

In this story, the reader is taken on a compelling journey into the human mind where genuine friendship offers the key to inner peace.

Meet Tess, an elderly lady living in a care home apartment in the outskirts of Edinburgh, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision. She meets Nurse Sandra, a warm and bubbly single mother of three, who is instantly intrigued by Tess’s personality and the mystery that surrounds her.

‘Tess and Tattoos’ is one of five gripping stories in HA Leuschel’s story collection Manipulated Lives centred around psychological manipulation.


This is the second story I’ve reviewed by H.A. Leuschel and one thing is apparent with her style and that is her wonderful ability to create an intriguing character study. In this case, the main character is an elderly lady living at a senior home called Tess. We start getting glimpses of her personality as she interacts with others particularly the new nurse Sandra. She seems at first like a closed and reserved lady, perhaps even typical because she craves company and attention despite choosing to be alone in her room all the time. However, an incident leads her to be exposed literally and her secrets spill out just a little and Sandra learns more about Tess. It also brings into a question of how much you do know someone is really dependent on how much they want you to know, which is a great angle for the story to take as Tess is revealed even more as the story takes a clever turn in the finale.

There were some pacing issues in the first bits. Perhaps it is to emphasize the monotone life that Tess leads and helps highlight her personality. It did seem to drag for a moment. Luckily this is a short story so pacing issues usually don’t last for too long before it moves along to introducing a new character like Sandra.  however, Tess and Tattoos delivers an emotional and somewhat shocking and clever finish as we see more into the life of Tess. Just like My Sweet Friend, Tess and Tattoos delivers us a thought provoking story.

Goodreads: 3/5 (but its a 3.5 in reality)

Author Bio

Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.





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