Sunday, April 1, 2018

Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories

Written by: Kelly Barnhill

First line: The day she buried her husband—a good man by all accounts, though shy, not given to drink or foolishness; not one for speeding tickets or illegal parking or cheating on his taxes; not one for carousing at the county fair or tomcatting with the other men from the glass factory; which is to say he was utterly unknown in town; a cipher: a cold, blank space—Agatha Sorensen arrived at the front steps of Our Lady of the Snows.

Why you should read this book: There is much to admire and wonder over in this collection of short, speculative fiction, which bobs back and forth between fantasy and magical realism on waves of feminist sensibility with dark undertones. Magical girls influence patriarchal institutions; non-magical girls find their realities inextricably bound up with improbable magic, and there's a nice romance between a giant, intellectual bug and a sentient observation tower, not to mention this business with sasquatch. The world needs more books like this.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Might be detrimental to the health of greedy, selfish, thoughtless folks.

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