I love the anthologies Rhonda Parrish edits, but it’s nice to read her own short stories for a change in The Other Side of the Door.
This collection of four ghost stories and a spooky poem kicks off with the titular The Other Side of the Door, which is a moving depiction of a child with an abusive father.
Cold Comfort tells of a girl lost in the woods.
A Voice Too Many is a fun poem.
A Million Pieces concerns loss and grief.
Set in an intriguing fantasy world, A Coming Storm tells a heartbreaking story of hatred and revenge.
In a foreword, the author warns that the stories are not for the faint hearted, but I think she is doing her tales a disservice. Yes, there is tragedy, abuse, hatred and pain, but there is also love, hope and bonds that transcend death.
As with her young adult novel, Parrish excels at depicting the pain of grief and the horrors of an abusive household. What I love even more than her realistic and sensitive handling of these difficult subjects, is how much heart her characters possess, and the fact that she writes broken, but not bowed, people so well.
While I enjoyed all the stories (and the poem!), my favorite was A Coming Storm. The longest story of the book, I loved the setting, the shifting time lines, and the ending made me cry. Full of very heavy themes, the magic of the world provided some relief from the torture. The character of Jeremiah was nuanced, and an important message was woven through the tale with an assured hand.
I award The Other Side of the Door…
The Other Side of the Door is available for $2.86 ebook and $5.97 print book on Amazon.
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