Suicide Stitch by Sarah L Johnson

Monday 17 July 2017

Love is woven into the fabric of our lives. A force of nature that knits us together even as it tears us apart. Threads of hunger, passion, and pain run through this collection where the last Nephilim fights his gory cravings, a latchkey kid befriends a cage dancer, and a bizarre threat lurks in the shadows of a friendly neighbourhood. Siblings turn monstrous and gods are brought to their knees in a dark literary patchwork that will drive you into the knot of your lover's arms, knowing how easily you could unravel.

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my thoughts.

I honestly have no idea how to go about reviewing this collection of short stories. For two reasons: one being that it is so short, and two being that I barely have any thoughts on it.

That doesn't sound good, I know, but there's really no other way for me to say it. This collection was just... there. There were only really a few stand out stories, in my opinion, and everything just felt very samey and kind of mediocre. Not bad by any means, just rather meh for me.

I don't dispute Johnson's talent as a writer because it's clear that she is talented. Her ideas are unique and her writing compelling in a simple yet deliberately vague way. She manages to spin tales in a small amount of words that keep you reading until the very last page. All well and good, if you enjoy open endings and questioning the things you read. Personally, I needed things to be a bit more plainly laid out with the endings all wrapped up neatly with bows, and looking back at the stories none of them really had any closure. This did work in the favour of some, like Bridge, for example, but overall it just wasn't to my stylistic taste.

I also found that none of the stories were particularly scary (but maybe I'm just desensitised to horror thanks to all the King that I read), so if you're looking for a true horror collection I would say that this isn't it. However, if you're looking for stories with darker themes - such as suicide, child murder, cannibalism, and incest - and unhappy undertones Suicide Stitch is the book for you. None of the tales included are particularly joyful and there's a real sense of the macabre throughout.

In the end, my top picks would be Little Sister, Little Brother, Bridge, and Suicide Stitch. All three felt a little more rounded, yet still ambiguous at times which really added to the experience and mood. Overall, though, an interesting read. Just not quite for me.

Sarah L Johnson and her work can be found at...
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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