My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had forgotten this was a collection of short stories, so when I pulled it off the shelf of the books waiting to be read, I was a little apprehensive. Most of the modern short stories I’ve read, especially those by authors I don’t know, present people in situations without conflict or resolution, just the guy at the bus stop in the rain, musing about the things he sees while standing under the shelter, and they end when the character gets on the bus. That’s a writing exercise, not a short story. You see, I want my short stories to tell me a story, like Shirley Jackson or Edgar Allen Poe or Ray Bradbury.
I’m happy to say Kelly Link has succeeded in that regard. In fact, I’d even compare her stories to those of Ray Bradbury or Shirley Jackson or Neil Gaiman. They have that little touch of oddity, of you-are-not-quite-safe, that I love so much. They’re eerie and disturbing and creepy and altogether lovely.
The standouts, to me, were “The Summer People”, in which a teenager takes on the task of tending to a vacation home for some unseen and decidedly odd visitors; “I Can See Right Through You”, in which a movie star visits the on-location set of his former lover’s reality TV show; and “Two Houses”, in which the crew of a spaceship tell each other ghost stories as they continue on their journey without their companion ship. My least favorite was “The Lesson”, in which a couple attends the wedding of a friend while awaiting the birth of their child by surrogate mother.
This is a collection that I’ll keep for a while to re-read.
Thank you to LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program for the opportunity to read this book.