Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill
“From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Kelly Barnhill comes a stunning collection of stories, teeming with uncanny characters whose lives unfold in worlds at once strikingly human and eerily original.
When Mrs. Sorensen’s husband dies, she rekindles a long-dormant love with an unsuitable mate in “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch.” In “Open the Door and the Light Pours Through,” a young man wrestles with grief and his sexuality in an exchange of letters with his faraway beloved. “Dreadful Young Ladies” demonstrates the strength and power—known and unknown—of the imagination. In “Notes on the Untimely Death of Ronia Drake,” a witch is haunted by the deadly repercussions of a spell. “The Insect and the Astronomer” upends expectations about good and bad, knowledge and ignorance, love and longing. The World Fantasy Award–winning novella The Unlicensed Magician introduces the secret magical life of an invisible girl once left for dead—with thematic echoes of Barnhill’s Newbery Medal–winning novel, The Girl Who Drank the Moon” ~ Description from Goodreads
The writing in this short story collection is dark and speculative. I wouldn’t really call it disturbing even though that’s kind of what I was looking for. The main theme in all of these stories is death. Or at least or surrounded by death in some way. Most all of these had some sort of strange twist.
Some of these short stories ae just flat-out strange. For instance, in “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch” there is a woman in a RELATIONSHIP with a Sasquatch. I don’t know about anyone else but I personally have never read a story like that.
The point of a few of these stories is hard to define. Some of them went right over my. Not gonna lie there. “Dreadful Young Ladies“, I didn’t get the point of part of that story at all.
“Open the Door and the Light Pours Through” was the short story I liked the best. It was “haunting” you could say but it wasn’t really weird or twisted. The least so actually. Which is crazy for me because I usually thing the darker the better.
“The Unlicensed Magician” is a little novella at the end of the book. I really enjoyed it.It is by far the best part of this book and makes the whole collection worth buying.
Over all I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars. I didn’t hate it but I wasnt in love with it. I’m also not really into short story collections. Just because it wasnt for me doesn’t mean it’s not for you!
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