Title: The Last, Clean, Bright Summer
Author: Livia Llewellyn
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Horror
Dates read: 10th March 2020
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: Wides rivers of shit and afterbirth and viscera, blossoming into dark clouds as they slide under the waters.
She’s returning for their yearly family reunion after her little brother died… but this time it will be different. She’s old enough to take part in the festivities… which might make this the last, clean, bright summer she’ll ever enjoy.
So this story is seriously disturbed.
Not what I was expecting. And certainly, something that made me seriously uncomfortable. At first I thought that this would just be a creepy story that featured the things that go bump in the night… it was so, so much more. I can’t really explain how… because that will give away the surprise, but it was definitely not what I expected. And seriously not something that I wanted.
I really, really enjoyed this short story. It gave me goosebumps, made me uncomfortable and just in general left me sitting there feeling completely weirded out. Yet, it was amazingly well written and made me think of the ways in which men and women are used and the places that they take in society. More specifically, how women are used and perceived – it was not a complimentary outlook.
It is difficult to write a review about this short story without giving anything away. It is phenomenal and engaging. Impossible to forget. But something you’ll have to read to truly understand.