Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Algonquin Books
I have been a fan of Kelly Barnhill’s since I read The Witch’s Boy which was a marvelous feat of imagination. Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories is no different.
The anthology features stories written in different styles; it celebrates a vibrant and diverse cast of characters. “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch” is lush; the prose trembles on the precipice of some great discovery. Every sentence is an ode to a fairytale. “Open the Door and the Light Pours Through” is eerie and abstract. It leaves the Reader lost in a dream world. “The Dead Boy’s Last Poem” is wickedly tragic, speaking to the transient nature of love and passion. “Notes on the Untimely Death of Ronia Drake” is brutally beautiful. And my favourite “The Unlicensed Magician” is wild with a lot of heart.
Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories will enchant, horrify, and everything in between. The stories are ones that linger in your mind, making you reach for the book time and again so you can immerse yourself in the magic of Barnhill’s words one more time. This collection makes me very excited to see what comes next from Kelly Barnhill. Strongly recommended.