Book Review: Sing Your Sadness Deep by Laura Mauro | More2Read
 

Sing Your Sadness Deep by Laura Mauro



British Fantasy Award-winning author, and Shirley Jackson Award finalist Laura Mauro, a leading voice in contemporary dark fiction, delivers a remarkable debut collection of startling short fiction. Human and humane tales of beauty, strangeness, and transformation told in prose as precise and sparing as a surgeon’s knife. A major new talent!

Featuring “Looking for Laika,” winner of the British Fantasy Award, and “Sun Dogs,” a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award.


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Praise for Sing Your Sadness Deep:

“Laura Mauro’s Sing Your Sadness Deep is a beautiful foray into the strange and uncanny. She digs deep into the psyche of her characters, revelling in the mysteries that propel them through their confrontations with the liminal and the bizarre. A sublime and haunting debut.”
—Simon Strantzas, author of Nothing is Everything

“Laura Mauro does indeed sing her sadness deep, with assured melodies, strange resonances and beautiful harmonies. This is just her first collection—I can’t wait to see what she will do next.”
—Priya Sharma, author of All The Fabulous Beasts

“Laura Mauro’s work exists in the hard space where the mythic collides with the everyday, where fairy tales transform into stories that feel modern and urgent. These are horror stories, yes—but it’s horror born from a cry for compassion and understanding. Disturbing and heartfelt, beautiful yet grotesque, they reveal strange new worlds whilst shining a light on the world we think we know.”
—Robert Shearman, author of Tiny Deaths


Review:

Immersive tales, concise and eloquent, weird and wonderful creations I found these stories below from the collection.

Sun Dogs

You are immersed in a pasture of a strange weird future. There is something out there in this desert, a kind of animal running wild killing, there will be blood and love in this tale.
A ferocious terrible beauty tale laid down with splendid writing in a potent love ballad.
I can see why this was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson award, one of the best of the collection.

“The men came a few days later. They arrived in a rust-coloured station wagon, kicking up plumes of dust behind them like the tail of a comet.”

“A dry wind had picked up, casting fistfuls of sand like a spiteful child.”

“Every day I feared your absence less and less; you were like the tide, receding into the gloaming, returning again as the sun set. I had not planned for the eventuality that, someday, you might not come back; curiously, I had no desire to prepare for it. It was as though after a life spent preparing fastidiously for a future that might never come, I had finally learned to absorb the present; you had taught me, somehow, that the sum total of my existence could not be pared down to numbers on a spreadsheet: how many tins, how many bullets, how fast I could run, how many weeks I might survive.”

The Grey Men

To small-town Hertfordshire the Grey men cometh to a fog filled land what be they and what mystery they hold, one must find out by reading this weird tale.

“When the grey men came they were dark shapes, hanging still in the sky, formless at first but taking gradual shape: the curve of shoulders, the twin protuberances of dangling legs. Heads lowered, the mere suggestion of a cranial arc. As their silhouettes burned slowly through the mist, Adam thought that a few looked to be wearing hats, brims off-kilter, distorting their symmetry. They came one by one, and by the time evening fell the sky over town was filled with them, hanging like fruit from an unseen tree. The entire town was out in the street that evening, faces turned up in unison, speaking in hushed tones, as if the grey men might be listening. As if words might travel further in the strange quiet of the fog.”

The Looking Glass Girl

A character in conflict with a loss and the nostalgia of twenty-five years ago, there are bad things past needing set right with all the secrets and love that had been.
One sister is returning home on a haunting resolution, within the beauty of the island a secret withholding.

Strange As Angels

One cold evening in the woods a couple driving, one drunk, find something and take it home, care for and feed it hearts, mothering it. After time relationship troubles then as things fall apart new ground found and strength with a heavy price.
Weird and wonderfully creepy tale.

“I’m not drunk enough for this,” she’d muttered. The woods had seemed sinister then, dark and foreboding, the kind of place monsters might lurk. But drunkenness has a way of lending a certain fuzzy-edged perspective to things, and it seems to Frankie now that the trees are protecting them somehow. That it’s the world beyond them which is sinister.

The Pain-Eater’s Daughter

Legacy, death and pain, a fourteen year old daughter to learn from her father of a gift and a curse, dark and unique, and someone we may all need. Weird and wonderful creations again with great selection of words with the tasks of descriptiveness and evocation.

“He is quiet then. His expression is so fond, so distant that Sara thinks he must be somewhere else in his mind. Somewhere where the sunshine heals instead of hurts, and the whole world is home, and she is a china-doll infant nestled in warm grass, beneath the wide blue sky.”

“Chided, she turns her face silently to the window. Her face is an ellipse, an off-kilter moon reflected against the deep, marine blue of the oncoming night.”


Containing stories:

Sun Dogs

Obsidian

Red Rabbit

Letters from Elodie

The Grey Men

Ptichka

When Charlie Sleeps

In the City of Bones

The Looking Glass Girl

In the Marrow

Looking for Laika

Strange as Angels

The Pain-Eater’s Daughter

 

 



 

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 08 November 2019