Monday, March 20, 2017
SIBLINGS AND OTHER DISAPPOINTMENTS :: Kait Heacock
Heacock writes about difficult subjects with a smooth grace that acts like a salve, taking some of the sting out of recognizing and relating to them. Living, often simply existing, is painful:
"Peter was an agoraphobic. He couldn't explain what that was a year ago, but he could describe now what it was like to stand by the front door and feel the heat radiate off the knob, so sure it could burn you if you touched it.... He never would have guessed when he rented this one-bedroom basement apartment that it could become his waking coffin, that he would let her death bury him alive."
Heacock sometimes balances the hurt with slivers of salvation. Peter finds solace in the peregrinations of his insomniac upstairs neighbor. An artistic young man finds a small mercy on the fishing boat where he's sent to toughen up. As in life, however, not every story includes an emotional Band-Aid, and Heacock doesn't hesitate to wield her words like a knife. To be human is to wound and be wounded, and the 12 gritty stories in Siblings and Other Disappointments cut to the core.
This review previously appeared in Shelf Awareness and is reposted here with permission.
STREET SENSE: A debut collection worthy of getting a little guts spilled on your rug.
A FAVORITE PASSAGE: She didn't ask her dad how things were going at the store or what he had been up to lately. His absence was more active than her mother's, richer and more full of anger. It was hard to hate someone who's dead; the living took the blow.
COVER NERD SAYS: This is a frustrating cover because I'm not sure I can even put into words why I like it as much as I do. But the color scheme, the font, the repetition, the art work, all of it fits squarely into my wheelhouse. Covers for short stories must be difficult, with so many different emotions and characters and slices of life requiring a piece of the pie. But really, what's more disappointing than a sink full of dirty dishes (or the messy life it symbolizes)? Great cover work, maybe even more so because I can't be more clear about why.