‘Little Digs’ is the third story I’ve been lucky enough to have published in The Dark magazine, and it’s now the third story Charles Payseur has reviewed over at Quick Sip Reviews. Once again, I’m both impressed by and grateful for the way he engages with short fiction: although brief (these are, after all, quick sips) his reviews are thorough, thoughtful, and insightful. I won’t quote the review in full, but here’s a taste:
It’s also a story that uses magic and religion in an interesting way, the family and the settlement a mix of Christian and older, Norse beliefs. It creates a very interesting and stark atmosphere, a feeling of isolation for Bets, who becomes the main character, a young woman looking for any way out of the situation that she’s in, away from the land and the constant stream of negativity and criticism from her parents. And I love how the story looks at generational change, how it is that families become stuck and how they turn on themselves. How people can go from valuing independence and bravery to being more interested in just holding property and traditions.
As a reviewer, Charles consistently shows that he gets what I’m doing, which is much more valuable than platitudes or unconditional praise. That’s not to say that this review isn’t positive — thankfully, it is! But, more importantly, in the space of a good paragraph, it articulates all of the crucial elements of ‘Little Digs’ with perfect clarity. It’s so clear, in fact, I’m not sure I could’ve explained what was going on in this story as well as he has! That’s a fine skill indeed.
Read the whole thing here.