I found two of Ms Hall’s books posted available for free a while back. One of them, Real Dragons Don’t Wear Sweaters, looked fluffy and cute. That turned out to be largely accurate, so I turned to this collection with mild optimism, despite the … basic cover.
Well, you know what they say about books and covers. This is a collection of surprisingly good stories in a substantially more adult voice than the previous book.
“Childish Things” starts off serious. It takes an abrupt and surprising turn early on, and I was pretty sure that what had seemed a confident hand had made a serious error. But the story works, and if it’s not quite the story I was anticipating, it’s a good one.
“Moon, June, Raccoon” is a light, off-beat love story that’s just the right mix of funny and touching.
“Norma the Wal-Mart Greeter Meets the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” is just what it sounds like. Small, but just the right size.
“Swear Not By the Moon” I didn’t like as much. A little too bloody, perhaps, though the ending is nice.
“Drawn From Memory” is again about a topic that’s foreign to me, but Hall pulls it off very nicely.
“The Garden”, the last story in the collection, is short but beautiful.
In brief (and the book was short), this is a nice collection of very good stories. Ignore the cover and pick this up. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Ms. Hall’s work, and trying to figure out why I hadn’t heard of her before.