Sunday, April 14, 2019

Blue Morphos in the Garden, by Lis Mitchell

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Magical Realism) Vivian loves Dash and loves their daughter, but actually marrying him means becoming part of his family, and in his family, when people die, they turn into things, and she doesn’t want to end up like that. (4,872 words; Time: 16m)

"," by (edited by Cory Skerry), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.207 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Frankly, I think this would be an improvement on the usual funeral arrangements, although I wonder what you have to do to turn into an addition to the house. I can understand very well why Vivian is uncomfortable living in a house that’s essentially full of dead relatives, but I can also see how you’d just take it for granted if you grew up with it.

The underlying story, of course, is that Vivian is dying, and she doesn’t want to end up as a household appliance. But she’s going to have to tell her daughter something.

The story has a certain parallel to real life in that there’s a certain extent to which I find myself reluctant to dispose of old furniture or flatware or china that was given to me by a deceased relative, because I don’t want to feel I’m giving part of them away. Not sure if the story means to play on that or not.

Con: For whatever reason, I never bonded with Vivian. The ending ought to feel moving, but, for me, it doesn’t. I found myself thinking she ought to just get over it.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I agree with the 3-star rating. I read it because the artwork is lovely and it does suits the story.

    I think at the end Vivian was Ok with it, if she could have some influence in what she turned into, but this is not clear. So hard to be certain but I did read it like that.

    I think Vivian is making it very hard on her husband and child, and maybe on herself when the time comes.

    1. Tor really does have beautiful artwork, don't they?