cover image The Bone Mother

The Bone Mother

David Demchuk. ChiZine, $17.99 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-77148-421-3

This extraordinary debut novel crosses borders and boundaries, stretching across continents and years in a series of interwoven stories and vignettes. Somewhere in Ukraine, near the Romanian border, there were once three villages. There was a factory that made porcelain the color of bleached bone, a river where drowned women beckoned inattentive passersby, a road where a lonely girl walked and walked, and a church where monsters were kept under an altar. When war comes to the villages, its inhabitants scatter—not just the men, women, and children, but the drevniye, strigoi, and malen’kiy sprut, all the beautiful and terrible creatures of the old world. And chasing after all these “children of monsters and of gods” are the Nichni Politsiyi, the Night Police. Demchuk gracefully pieces together a dark and shining mosaic of a story with unforgettable imagery and elegant, evocative prose. These stories read like beautiful and brutal nightmares, sharply disquieting, and are made all the more terrifying by the history in which they’re grounded. (July)