Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ghost Summer - Tananarive Due

I received Ghost Summer in my Book Riot horror box this fall.  I purposely saved it for the week before Thanksgiving because I knew I'd be super busy.  A short story collection was just the thing I needed.

About a year and a half ago I read my first collection of short stories.  I've been hooked ever since.  It takes so much talent to pull the reader in when your'e dealing with only a few pages.  I think a good short story not only conveys a plot in a limited page count, but also makes the reader really understand and/or connect with the characters right away.  For me, my favorite short story collections also have the element of the surreal - not necessarily supernatural, but the feeling of something being slightly off.

Tananarive Due does an amazing job at all the things I mentioned above that make a short story collection fantastic.  Ghost Summer is divided into four sections.  The first section features stories all set in Gracetown, a fictional Florida town.  In Gracetown, in the swampland, strange things happen - particularly to children - in the summer months.  The second section is called "The Knowing" and all of the stories have something to do with folks who able to see things and know things they should't be able to.  The third section, "Carriers" explores the idea of pandemics (this was my favorite section).  Finally, the fourth section is about vanishings.

I really loved this collection.  Due does an amazing job of completely immersing the reader in the story after only a few pages.  Before I got into short stories, my fear was always that by the time I really got into the story, it would be over.  This is not the case with well-written short stories.  You're pulled in right away.  If you've never tried short stories, give this one a try.  It's fantastically written and just a little bit suspenseful.

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