This is not the first time I have read this loosely connected series of short stories or episodes, it was published in 2018, and I find it hard to described how mesmerised I am by them. They are not easy, in fact, they are often hard, grudging, irritable, unsatisfactory yet whole, they make you realise you have been holding your breath, you feel uncomfortable, you don’t know where to put yourself. Sometimes you want to look away. Should you put the book down. The book engenders more of a visceral response than anything intellectual and yet, it is smart, whip smart, cutting yourself open on jagged glass smart. And, there you are 18 months later picking it up again…a literary scab you cannot leave alone. Shifting – like the moor in one episode – untrustworthy narrators, with often, unworthy ends in mind. There is taking and hurting and brutally transactional relations and there is the agency, Exire. It feels like too much coffee, like coming out of being drunk late in a night, or early in a morning and keeping on, without sleep. The unfiltered morning so grey and bleak, that it looks filtered. Shiftless and scratching, a grain of sand under your eyelid. The section entitled Maureen is heartbreaking; the final Laura section is so surprisingly sad and uplifting that it melts hearts – such longing and loss.
Brilliant. When you’re in that mood.
Available from Wrecking Ball Press: https://wreckingballpress.com