Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories

We rated this book:


It is a difficult thing, sometimes, to make a short story as engaging and fulfilling as a full novel, but Kelly Barnhill’s Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories is filled with story after story that leaves the reader satisfied yet eagerly turning to the next. From forest women and sasquatches to explorations of death and magic, Barnhill weaves astonishingly deep portrayals of the worlds in her imagination, bringing to life full characters and lives, while seemingly asking us to question the nature of our own realities.

The writing is bright and fluid, with just a hint of stream-of-consciousness to move the reader along. It is a kind of voice I am not accustomed to, so I stumbled a bit at the first story, but once I had caught the rhythm of the telling, I didn’t want to come up for air. I would classify the stories themselves as fantasy, but there is something about their matter-of-fact telling that makes them feel more akin to magical realism, for all that the magic is very present, and very active. It is the fact that the magic is accepted as simply a normal part of the everyday that makes it feel less fantastical and more like Main Street, USA, with an extra cherry on top for color.

I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book for yourself and let yourself free-fall into Barnhill’s world of whimsy and magic.

Reviewed By:

Author Kelly Barnhill
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Algonquin Books
Publish Date 2018-Feb-20
ISBN 9781616207977
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2018
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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