Saturday, June 3, 2017

Dis Mem Ber

Dis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense 
by Joyce Carol Oates
The Mysterious Press: 6/6/17
eBook review copy; 256 pages
ISBN-13: 9780802126528

Dis Mem Ber by Joyce Carol Oates is a highly recommended collection of seven dark, carefully crafted short stories.

Dis mem ber: Eleven year-old Jill is captivated but a little frightened of Rowan Billiet, an older relative.
The Crawl Space: A widow keeps driving by the house she lived in for over two decades.
Heartbreak: The rivalry between two sisters intensifies when an attractive male step-cousin visits.
The Drowned Girl: A university student becomes increasingly obsessed with the drowning of another girl.
The Situations:  A father cruelly shows his children that he is the one in charge.
Great Blue Heron: A recent widow recalls watching a Great Blue Heron with her husband and begins to identify with the bird.
Welcome to Friendly Skies!: "Welcome aboard our North American Airways Boeing 878 Classic Aircraft! This is North American Airways Flight 443 to Amchitka, Alaska - Birdwatchers and Environmental Activists Special!"

All of the writing is superb in this collection of stories published in 2016. While I tentatively agree that there could have been more stories added to this collection, I liked the theme these stories presented, with the last story being an exception. Each of the other six stories had a psychologically vulnerable female protagonist. Each of the women (or girls) had an obsession that would result in some unexpected action, or is the result of a precarious situation. They are all in some kind of danger. The last story adds a comedic touch that also takes a dark turn.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of The Mysterious Press.

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