Friday 4 February 2022



And Her Smile Will Untether the UniverseAnd Her Smile Will Untether the Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've got several Gwendolyn Kiste books waiting in my TBR pile, so I decided to start with this lovely collection.

Here's what I thought of each story...

SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE: Wow. This certainly took me to places I never imagined. Combine the whimsical nature of what keeps happening to this poor woman, the horrid sense of desperation and sadness she feels, with my personal love for birds... Of course I was going to enjoy this.

TEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE TEN QUESTIONS: A quirky and creepy tale about friendship during a time when more and more people vanish from existence without any real explanation.

THE CLAWFOOT REQUIEM: Yikes. That was definitely something very dark and quite sad. A woman can't let go of her sister after she kills herself and tumbles down a very murky path. 😳

ALL THE RED APPLES HAVE WITHERED TO GRAY: What a fantastic dark as hell fairy tale this little gem turned out to be. It was like reading a feminist Grimm story, and I enjoyed every single minute of it.

THE MAN IN THE AMBRY: Intense. Creepy. An entire horror story told through the one-sided letters of Molly Jane as she writes to someone no one else believes exist. Loved this! And that ending. 😳

FIND ME, MOMMY: OMGosh. So freaking creeeeeepy. Emma Jo's shadowy fate is damn spooky.

AUDREY AT NIGHT: The story of a guilty woman being haunted isn't what it seems, and as the events unravel leading to the shocking conclusion... everything starts to make sense. Fantastic!

THE FIVE-DAY SUMMER CAMP: This is quite a chilling dystopian horror story about two sisters determined to stay together in a world that wants to control their every thought and action. Outstanding.

SKIN LIKE HONEY AND LACE: I love skeletons and have written several stories about them myself, so I found this tale  REALLY appealing. Loved how at its very core it's a morbid love story about shedding false skin to expose who you really are.

BY NOW, I'LL PROBABLY BE GONE: I think this one's a lot of fun! Short but gets to the razor-sharp point right away.

THROUGH EARTH AND SKY: Lovely and sad, a story that's over too soon but covers so much.

THE TOWER PRINCESSES: OMG, this is such a strange and wondrous tale about the crap teenage girls have to put up with. It's presented in such a unique way, but doesn't shy away from the raw and ugly truth of what society keeps piling on. And unfortunately, also highlights how easy it is to lose who you love if you allow the negatives to fill you with anger and blind you from the most wonderful thing.

AND HER SMILE WILL UNTETHER THE UNIVERSE: A fascinating take on urban legends and forgotten actors.

THE LAZARUS BRIDE: Loved this bleak fairy tale that questions if love can truly overcome everything.

Well, this turned out to be such a moving and beautiful collection of twisted stories. I adored each and every one for different reasons, and love Gwedolyn's writing style because it sucks you in and doesn't let go. Every character, situation and world within these pages is vivid and everlasting.

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