Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Review: St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised By Wolves

This was my second Karen Russell read of 2013.  I read and loved her second collection, Vampires In the Lemon Grove, and had heard this one favorably reviewed as well.  Like Vampires in the Lemon Grove, I heard comparisons to George Saunders, who became one of my favorite authors last year.  If I recall correctly, Rebecca Schinsky mentioned on the BookRiot podcast that it was her favorite from Russell.  So all signs pointed towards excellent.

Writing
Equally as impressive as Vampires In the Lemon Grove, which won raves from me early last year.  The fact that it's the author's debut only makes it more impressive.  She has such a unique voice and, while the comparisons to Saunders are apt, she definitely has her own style.

Entertainment Value
As much as I loved these stories, I wasn't quite as entertained by them as I was by Vampires in the Lemon Grove, something that could very well be due to the maturation of Russell as a writer and the development of her voice.  But that doesn't mean that I didn't love these stories.  I am particularly fond of the slightly off-kilter elements of magical realism that present themselves in each story.  Beautifully done.

Overall
It's a must-read if you love short stories, enjoyed Tenth of December or Vampires In the Lemon Grove, or are a fan of magical realism.

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