I have been increasing the number of short story collections I have been reading lately. I love that they are flexible and I can read them along with anything else I have on my nightstand. I can read a story at a time for a little break and be back to business. However, Dis Mem Ber, a series of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, did not provide the versatility I desired; I was unable to simply pick up this book and put it down again. Once I started, I was completely sucked into these dark and twisted narratives and had to greedily finish them all!!
Each story provided a look into completely different sets of characters and scenarios. Dis Mem Ber, the first story followed a girl who became attached to the family black sheep, The Crawl Space about a grieving widow, and The Drowned Girl about a woman who becomes obsessed with a homicide victim. Ominous and gritty, each story provided a snapshot that I desperately wanted more of!
I felt like these stories gave a Southern Gothic Fiction vibe (think Flannery O’Conner or Shirley Jackson), which I loved. I also loved that each of the stories was narrated by or featured a female protagonist.
For my first experience with this author, I would say it was a win. Obviously, some stories, like the ones I mentioned above, stood out more than others, but overall, I love this collection! 4/5 stars from me.
Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
This book was also a June #cjsreads pick! Keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one.