Thin Places

Kay Chronister. Undertow, $14.99 trade paper (206p) ISBN 978-1-988964-18-8
Chronister’s eerie debut collection toggles between reality and mythical, chilling otherworlds. Multifaceted female characters, from the nefarious to the desperate, make up the dark subjects of these horror stories. Themes of infertility, grief, and motherhood pervade “The Fifth Gable,” in which a household of witches craft babies out of inhuman materials only for the children to die at birth. “White Throat Holler” features a precocious and fearless preacher’s daughter who hunts demons to stop them from claiming her town’s mothers and children. In “Russula’s Wake” (not for those who are disturbed by the suggestion of animal cruelty), a young widow tries to save her youngest daughter from sharing the curse of her older children, who must feast on animal flesh in order to continue appearing as normal children. Grim but effervescent, Chronister’s economical prose packs a powerful punch (“ ‘Are you dead?’ Martha laughed, spat out of a bloodied mouth: ‘I wish. I wish I was.’ ”). These modern gothics are as enticing as they are frightening. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/10/2020
Release date: 04/14/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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