Tag Archives: Alex Bell

The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women edited by Marie O’Regan

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of ghost stories by women book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women
Author: Marie O’Regan, Kim Lakin-Smith, Sarah Pinborough, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman, Sarah Langan, Elizabeth Massie, Alex Bell, Alison Littlewood, Nina Allan, Lisa Tuttle, Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, Mary Cholmondeley, Marion Arnott, Lilith Saintcrow, Nancy Kilpatrick, Muriel Gray, Cynthia Asquith, Amelia B. Edwards, Elizabeth Gaskell, Gail Z. Martin, Edith Wharton & Gaie Sebold
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Marie O’Regan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 29th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: She was a sickly child, prone to unaccountable fits and agues, and her parents were convinced on more than one night that she would not live to see the dawn.

Synopsis

25 chilling short stories by outstanding female writers

Women have always written exceptional stories of horror and the supernatural. This anthology aims to showcase the very best of these, from Amelia B. Edwards’s ‘The Phantom Coach’, published in 1864, through past luminaries such as Edith Wharton and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, to modern talents including Muriel Gray, Sarah Pinborough and Lilith Saintcrow.

From tales of ghostly children to visitations by departed loved ones, and from heart-rending stories to the profoundly unsettling depiction of extreme malevolence, what each of these stories has in common is the effect of a slight chilling of the skin, a feeling of something not quite present, but nevertheless there.

If anything, this showcase anthology proves that sometimes the female of the species can also be the most terrifying…

Thoughts

This is a fantastic collection. One which I thoroughly enjoyed but learnt fairly quickly that I shouldn’t be reading this late at night… after all, some of these ghost stories are actually kind of scary. And reading them late at night with the wind blowing through the house while you’re home alone… not the best decision making of my life. To be fair, it’s also not the worst…. But that’s a whole other story.

I love that all of these ghost stories are written by women. I definitely believe that we need a collection of women-only writers more often. Or at least, I need to buy more to put on my shelves… although not all of these stories had strong women as the voice, they still felt more relatable than many of the stories that I read by men. I suppose shared experience and all that nonsense.

As a kid, I was never into ghost stories or tales of things that go bump in the night. Although I’ve gotten more into the genre over the past few years, it’s still sometimes not the most powerful driver for me. This collection though is swaying me more and more towards those horror stories.

<- The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories 2Field of the Dead ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Fifth Bedroom by Alex Bell

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of ghost stories by women book cover

Title: The Fifth Bedroom
Author: Alex Bell
In: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Marie O’Regan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Horror
Dates read: 6th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: And when that happens, love – or what passes for love – dies too.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Chloe is bitter about the past and the accident that tore down her life. So she’s moved to her own home to lick her wounds in private. But the non-existent fifth bedroom bell keeps ringing and she just can’t seem to find that peace she so deeply desires…

Thoughts

Yeah. I really shouldn’t have read this short story at dusk. While the wind was blowing through my house. And the wind chimes hanging in my window were going mad. Talk about mood-setting…

This was a really creepy story. There is something about bitterness that seems to be more terrifying than anger or sadness. It’s like a disease that eats someone from inside. The fact that Chloe’s bitterness leads to her sad ending was intense and really, really sad. It may not have quite ended the way that I anticipated… but it was still creepy and a reminder to let go of the past.

Finishing this short story left me feeling seriously disturbed. And uncomfortable. And just plain not ready to go to sleep. I may have poured myself a big glass of wine and taken a pretty big gulp after finishing this. It left me feeling that unsettled…

<- Sister, Shhh…Scairt ->

Image source: Goodreads