Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enríquez, translated by Megan McDowell


Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories - Megan McDowell,Mariana Enríquez This is an amazing collection of short stories. Normally, I don’t read horror but the title is so compelling. I just had to read the whole book as soon as I read the title. It is super creepy. Like, really really creepy. Creeped out at a level that I haven’t been since the last time I read a Stephen King collection of short stories.

Normally, I’d list the titles of the short stories and write a little something about each but I have roughly the same thing to say about all of the stories. Brilliant and creepy. Part of what makes it really fun is that these stories are not set in the US. Specifically, they are set in Argentina and introduce a whole new creep factor given the new set of superstitions to deal with, the cultural differences, and a whole new set of historical circumstances. Despite the differences, the women who are Enriquez’s protagonists are familiar and relateable as women. They’re problems are understandable and their responses are reasonable.

She definitely finishes with the most memorable story, the one that the collection is named after. It’s a fantastic display of women’s outrage. I’m not sure I’d call this particularly reasonable so much as a statement of women having had enough of the way it is and revolting in the way that was available to them. Again, it’s an incredibly creepy response and it gives me chills for the way it is both powerful and helpless. Under the Black Water is the other story that has stayed with me a while. It’s also a combination of power made from helplessness. I know it’s a strange way to describe something, but it’s the best I have.

All together its a great collection and I would love to read more from Enriquez. I borrowed the book from the library but you can click on the cover to find places to purchase via BookLikes or add to Goodreads.

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