Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers
Magical Realism, Finished
For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.
First of all, I’m adding Anna-Marie McLemore to my list of favorite authors. Second of all, if what you want is to devour everything McLemore has written, go read this book. It’s great. If, however, you are limited in time and and only want the best, go read McLemore’s second novel, When the Moon was Ours. The books tell similar stories, with similar themes, ideas, obstacles, and even the occasional plot point. But When the Moon was Ours has the benefit of being a second novel and it is much, much better. It’s tighter, more imaginative, cleaner, and the emotional weight hits a lot harder.
So, yeah, The Weight of Feathers is, unsurprisingly, a beautifully written book with amazing imagery and a great premise, even if the payoff is lukewarm and comes a little bit out of nowhere. But seriously, just go read When the Moon was Ours.
Short story of the week: Lyndsie Manusos’s The Bells
Science Ficion, Finished
Read it here.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about this one. It’s a straightforward tale of the horrors women’s bodies are put through by and for men. The idea is very solidly crystallized in the protagonist, who has been literally turned into a puppet for men’s amusement. It’s harsh and disturbing and leaves us with only more pain and horror.