cover image The Impossible Resurrection of Grief

The Impossible Resurrection of Grief

Octavia Cade. Stelliform, $14.99 trade paper (82p) ISBN 978-1-77709-176-7

Cade (The Mythology of Salt) explores the personal toll of climate disaster in this emotional but uneven novella. When Marjorie is afflicted with the Grief, a psychological plague defined as “the undermining upwelling of loss in response to ecosystem devastation” and whose symptoms include “the inability to balance what was left with what was left behind,” she puts aside her old life to become a Sea Witch. Her story is narrated by scientist Ruby, a former coworker who met Marjorie on an overseas work trip to Palau and witnesses her transformation. Following the Sea Witch’s death, Ruby struggles with the emotional ramifications of her loss and fear of being overtaken with the Grief herself, even as her scientific research leads her to encounter others afflicted with it who have found peculiar ways to resurrect extinct species. The plot is murky at times, but Cade’s strength shines in her beautiful descriptions, especially of the frequently appearing jellyfish that form an important motif in the story. This thoughtful work is a reminder of humanity’s connection and responsibility to the natural world. (May)