Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In Our Rags of Light, by Shira Lipkin

(Modern Fantasy) Twenty years ago, Jess was a teenage swamp witch in the Everglades. She flirted with the boys and took what she wanted, but Ben saw her for what she really was. (4,323 words)

Rating: 4, Recommended

, by appeared in the 15 August 2016 issue of Strange Horizons.

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: This is predominantly the story of how Jolene grew up. Her relationship with Ben showed her just how shallow her relations with the other boys were, and her encounter with the dying fox made her take life (and death) seriously for the first time.

Jolene doesn't give us a lot of reason to like her at first, but we like her better and better as she grows, and by the end when she heads off to dispose of Ben's ashes, we feel her pain acutely. We're not sure if she can resurrect Ben the way she did the fox, but we're sure she's going to try.

Con: We're not entirely sure what's in the box nor are we entirely sure what happened with her and the fox. Nor is it clear why Ben wants to be with her again, given that he walked out twenty years ago. We're not really sure what Jolene has done with her life these past twenty years, so it's not clear that she needs Ben.

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