Next of Kin

Rated 4.67/5 based on 6 reviews
When I was 21 years old, preparing to travel to Europe for the first time, my Mother whispered a request: to get her a photo of the grave of her childhood sweetheart in a cemetery in France. I came home empty-handed. This is the true story of how, years after she died, I finally got the photo, and came to understand its importance. More

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About Caitlin Hicks

Born the 6th child in a family of fourteen children, I was distinguished by my fair skin, small upper torso and the nickname Skinny-Milink-the-Graveyard-Dancer. As a child my dog Lucky gave me needed one-on-one attention; after graduation from Loyola Marymount University in LA I jumped the nest and met my true love in San Francisco (a Canadian, how exotic!) and now live in Canada.

I am a published writer of short stories, non-fiction, radio, theatre and film. One of my plays was adapted to a feature film called "Singing the Bones" ( and has screened around the world every year since its premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2001.

My debut novel A THEORY OF EXPANDED LOVE was published in May, 2015 by Light Messages Publishing in North Carolina. Then novel has already garnered numerous excellent reviews: including iBooks Best New Fiction for Spring, 2015.

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Jan Brown reviewed on on May 18, 2011

Next Of Kin by Caitlin Hicks
Review by Jan Brown 5/18/11

This is a very moving powerful short story and it had me crying 1/3rd of the way through it and all the way to the end. It reminded me of the many military funerals I have attended in the past few years not knowing the person or their families yet had tears to share and shed. Very well written with a few little twist and turns and life's regrets and sorrows brought to mind. Better have a whole box of tissues handy...
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Dania Matiation reviewed on on May 2, 2011

What a lovely story! Caitlin's words created the texture of the settings in such a rich way. As the reader, I could smell, hear and picture her experiences. As well, her prose not only invited me into the intimacy of her Mother's heart but also into the imperfect tenderness of the mother daughter relationship.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
marcella murphy reviewed on on April 25, 2011

This was a wonderful window into your past, well told. I especially liked the fact that it was told after you had lived to be able to embrace your young mother from the point of view of an older woman with great tenderness and compassion.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
Alpha Woodward reviewed on on April 21, 2011

I have heard you tell this story in person and I was as spell bound by the written version as I was of the performance - a real life mystery of an unfinished love story! I love the way you bring out the vulnerability of human feelings, thoughts and actions in the shaping of your stories - because in these places I can immediately recognize the characters. 'Next of Kin' was both heartbreaking and heartwarming - touching me deeply in my own memories. If we are totally honest, who has not felt the pang, or the guilt, of letting someone dear to us down? In the 'absolution' embedded behind your words, your art is brilliant and inspiring. Gutzy and unpretentious writing - !

(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
GG Sanders reviewed on on April 14, 2011

This is such a touching story, beautifully written. It's no surprise that a young woman, barely an adult, is incapable of grasping the significance of her mother's startling request, but afraid to ask for explanation. She returns empty-handed and is stricken by her mother's disappointment. But years later, when she returns to France with her own family, they acknowledge the tragic loss and honor the sacrifice of a very young soldier. It's sad and very sweet closure.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Pauline Brasch reviewed on on April 6, 2011

Yes, I cried. And this is truly a tribute to your skill to capture me and bring me along with you when the brevity of the story would normally only allow you to recount bare fact. A lovely short story. Thanks.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
pennylynne reviewed on on April 3, 2011
(no rating)
Very touching story! Thanks Caitlin.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
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