Book Review: This House of Wounds by Georgina Bruce | More2Read
 

This House of Wounds by Georgina Bruce


This House of Wounds is the devastating debut short story collection from British Fantasy Award-winning author Georgina Bruce. Haunting and visceral tales for the lost and the lonely. An emotional and riveting debut, with 4 brand new stories.


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Praise for This House of Wounds:

“An astonishing, totally absorbing debut collection. Edgy, disturbing and delicious in equal parts. Georgina Bruce plays with myth and horror beautifully.”
– Kerry Hadley-Pryce, Author of Gamble, and The Black Country

“The stories in This House of Wounds strike me as both an emotional and intellectual examination of pain, from how it spreads and is passed on to others to how it can easily turn us into different, crueller creatures. Each act formed in pain leads to another, then another, and this makes for twisted, beautiful reading. Georgina Bruce is a courageous and compelling writer.”
– Aliya Whiteley, Author of The Loosening Skin, and The Beauty


Review:

There is a rhythm in the prose of these tragedy tales, grace and beauty with the darkly poetic, horrifically human tales treading darkly into other realms, nightmarish and dreamlike at times, gothic artistry in twisted minutes, snippets from a myriad of characters, a strange and haunting world of wounds and feelings before the reader with memorable characters from blood spilling queens to princesses, crows and shadows.
Nicely crafted originality within these stories, the reader left with great anticipation for a fully fleshed novel from the creation factory mind of Georgina Bruce.


Excerpts:

Red Queening

“The Queen’s Woods went on for miles, some said forever. Ancient, twisted, gnarled and tangled woods. Riddled with mirrors. Haunted by doors, doors and other creatures, all howling and biting the moon.
I eat moons like air…”

“Oh everything is upside-down here.
This is wrong, this is wrong, she told herself.”

The Shadow Men

“In a night that was like the mouth of a bear, a thick tangled forest of a night, the Queen Beast walked. She was tall and deeply rooted as a tree. Vines tangled under her boots as she stalked the night with her high-legged walk, until she came to a clearing where a black puddle shone before her, glossy as onyx. She breathed the world through her skin and into her bones, and chanted words to summon a spirit from the water. It was in her bones and blood, this craft, this knowing. It was in the sap and roots of the wood.”

“These woods were the realm of the Queen Beast since time began. But the Queen wanted no dominion, no territory or power. She lived in the woods and from the woods; and the things of the woods stalked her and avoided her and lived with her all in their turn.”



Georgina Bruce is a writer and teacher currently living in Edinburgh. Her short stories have been widely published in magazines and anthologies, and have been longlisted for the Bridport and Mslexia short story prizes. In 2017, her story ‘White Rabbit’ won the British Fantasy Award for Short Fiction. This is her first collection.

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 16 May 2019