Book Review: Night Beast by Ruth Joffre

beastTitle: Night Beast
Author: Ruth Joffre
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Pages: 144
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Date Started: July 8, 2018
Date Finished: July 17, 2018
Format: Kindle

*I would like to thank the publisher, author, and NetGalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Love, lust, and loss. Three fundamental human emotions that connect us all. We’ve all experienced them, in one form or another. I can’t predict when we will be affected by them. Some embrace this, others avoid them as best they can.

Night Beast by Ruth Joffre envelops all that surrounds these three little words. As a collection of short stories, each tale weaves its own unique perspective. Some take place in the normalcy of the everyday, others explore the potential future of our species. But each stays true to the heartache of love.

I am coming to realize that I love collections of short stories. I rarely pick them up to read, but always find myself engrossed in their brevity. From the start, Joffre introduces us to worlds that are so similar, and yet unlike our own that you can’t help but be intrigued. But then, it just ends. She only gives us a snippet or a window into the life of the characters. They don’t do anything extraordinary, they are just living. At first, this bothered me. I wanted a big, punchy ending. But the more I thought about the stories, the more I realized that just wouldn’t fit. There couldn’t be an ending, because they kept on living, regardless of their situation. They persisted. There’s no fanfare for that. And yet, the stories and their players are extraordinarily personal. In fact, there was one story that connected to a recent experience of my own, and the story made it raw again. It brought all that emotion to the forefront of my conscious.

I felt the advertised description for this book was a little misleading, as it made me believe going into it that it would focus on relationships between mothers and daughters. While this was the case in a couple of the stories, I would by no means pick that out specifically over any of the other expressions of love provided throughout the pages. But the representations of love were beautiful in these stories, and I applaud the F/F depictions. These are the kinds of stories our society needs more of.

Overall: 3.5/5 moose


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