by Kimberly Richardson
These are two short stories in one novel. I received this book through First Rule Publicity for an honest review (thank you!)
Genre – Modern Gothic
Mabon – about a woman who never fit in to her job, life, family or friends until she finds the perfect town, Mabon. Everyone there is artistic, and quirky and likes to read and drink tea, unlike the people from the horrible place she used to live. It is funny, I want to live in Mabon, there are strange folks afoot, artists show up and disappear at will, and it is a doorway to another place. It feels a little bit like a fairy mound changing with its own will to accomodate those living there.
The odd – the dialogue is sometimes stilted or archaic and though I think that it was purposeful, it made it almost sterile for me for quite some time. Until about half way through the story I was bothered by it because the land and folks within it were so organic and fluid that the dialogue juxtaposed oddly. The storyline is also quirky, I would think I knew where it was going, only to be shocked by some new wacky character or change of direction. It was tough at first, but ended up kind of fun and enjoyable, actually.
While this is a short story, it really is the start to something much larger. I wonder if Richardson has that story in the works because the ending is just a break in the action almost. You can assume certain things will happen, but much is left open ended.
Pomegranate – I really liked this storyline. A bookstore owner gets to know a new guy in town. He likes her, she likes him but she is married. He turns out to be more than expected. I don’t want to say more because it would ruin the surprise. Though I thought it was about who it is about, but it took a while to get there. This is a complete story which does not rush itself.
I enjoyed the relationship build of the two main characters, Dune and Alexandra. I was sad at certain spots and horrified at others. The dialogue was done well and I enjoyed the characters. Some things surprised me, but it kept me on my toes!
I really think that Richardson is an author I am going to watch. Her style has grown on me and she isn’t afraid of putting her characters through the wringer. She takes ideas I have seen before and messes with them, making them a little darker and very twisted. I started out feeling like giving it 3 stars, but ended at 4, so I will split the different and say 3.5+. I am a pain I know!