Review: The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners

Hello, my poor neglected blog.

Here’s a lovely review from Carina Bissett of this year’s collection The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners and Other Stories.

The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners & Other Stories by Angela Slatter (PS Publishing, March 2020)

A new book by this Australian author is always a beautiful thing to behold, and this gorgeous collection of stories is no different. Although only two of the stories are originals—“But for an L” and “Reading Off the Curriculum”—the only one of the reprints that I’d read before was “Finnegan’s Field,” which was published by in 2016. This dark fantasy, changeling tale was also my introduction to Slatter’s work. Many of the collected stories originally appeared in such journals as The Review of Australian Fiction and the limited-edition Murder Ballads, compiled by U.K. publisher Egaeus Press, so it was a treat to find these hard-to-find stories bundled and accessible to readers world-wide. The diversity of the collected stories exemplifies this virtuoso’s range. There are the familiar fairy tales retold in Slatter’s signature style including “Tin Soldier” and “The Little Mermaid, in Passing.” There is a nod to Lovecraft in the chilling “Lavinia’s Wood” and the quieter terror present in “Neither Time nor Tears.” Whether Slatter resurrects old Egyptian gods or flips the script with a new perspective on Jack-the-Ripper, her mastery of the short form is only equaled to the beauty of her prose. With the upcoming publication of her Gothic fairy tale All the Murmuring Bones and the interconnected collection The Tallow-Wife, fans of Slatter’s work have plenty to look forward to 2021. I, for one, can’t wait.

ISBN: 978-1786365620

Go here for her other 2020 recommendations.

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