This was a freaking fantastic short story. Especially since it featured the LGBTQI+ world, something that is intriguing me more and more and I’m loving that I’m slowly finding more stories featured in this world.
In a collection of Halloween stories, I was so excited to find a Dia de los Muertos story. Like, ridiculously excited. I can still remember the grad paper that I wrote comparing Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. And I’ve been obsessed ever since. So the fact that there was a story entirely featuring this celebration… wow!
This story is sweet, fun and not one that I’m going to forget anytime soon. It’s a fairly easy read, but one that still completely sweeps you away. Makes you forget about reality. I spent a perfect afternoon reading about Grace, Abbie and their neurotic dog while my neurotic dogs were piled on top of me. There was just something completely innocent and sweet about this story… not what I would normally claim for a romance. Mostly they tend to be a lot more lustful.
I really wasn’t expecting a tale of a cross-dresser in a collection of Jack the Ripper stories. Like, at all. Although, to be fair, I rarely expect to come across such a tale, so when you’re reading about historical fiction and retakes on a notorious serial killer… there isn’t much that could be farther from my mind.
The wit and dry humour in this story had me chuckling a fair bit. There was something about a strange, lanky scholar who was desperate to be killed roaming the streets and just having absolutely no luck. It got even better when you found out that he was a duke and abhorrent to the rest of his family. The beauty, humour and irony in the story had me cackling more than I should probably admit if I still wanted people to consider me sane (which I don’t, so it’s fine).
When I sat down to write this review, I couldn’t quite remember what this short story was even about. There was a vague memory of enjoying the story and thinking it was very good, but I just couldn’t remember what happened in it. So I had to have a quick look at the pages again. And then it all came flooding back to me. And I’m really not sure why I didn’t remember this much clearer from the very beginning. There was a bit of an Oliver Twist feel to this story, with a great sense of darkness and brutality.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this novel. It is my first by Moira Fowley-Doyle, it is my first magical realism story and although the blurb sounded intriguing, it’s probably not one I would have picked up based on the cover. It was suggested as part of the Around the Year in 52 Books reading challenge. And boy am I glad. I absolutely loved this book.
Without giving away the ending of this story (and why it is in the LGBTQI shelf), I can tell you that one of the characters is really not what I thought they were. And the reaction to this was kind of beautiful. I thought that this was going to go haywire incredibly quickly. However, it led to a great happy ending. And an acceptance of people who are just a little bit different from ourselves.
From the outset it is obvious that this was a story about a not so healthy love. I mean, the whole I Am Heathcliff collection is kind of about unhealthy love. But this seemed a little more obviously unhealthy than some of the other tales. And a little bit more relatable to be honest, it was far more contemporary and written in a way that you can almost, almost relate to Heidi.
This is such a great fairy tale! It’s filled with beautiful pictures, different outlooks (like an ogre dancing) and a great couple at the very centre. The fact that this great couple happens to be a lesbian one just makes this story all the sweeter and greater. It becomes this beautiful, encompassing storyline that makes you swoon again and again and again.