Uncommon Miracles is a fabulous collection of short speculative fiction stories by Julie C. Day. I picked this book up knowing nothing about it, judging (as you're not supposed to) only by the interesting cover art, and I'm not sorry I did. The stories range in subject matter and tone, with a little Southern Gothic, some more whimsical fantasy and a touch of comedy. There are characters hiding dark secrets, or pursuing strange obsessions and ghosts haunting the mobile network while others emerge from photographs. There are stories full of longing, grief, occasional laughter and a strong feminist vibe.
Some of my favourites included:
Everyone Gets A Happy Ending The apocalypse is heralded by bunnies. This sounds like it would be silly, but there is an emotional realism to the story that makes it work. Holes in Heaven Jack and Agustin are brothers, orphaned when their parents left them to return to the stars. Living in a town in the desert, Jack, who is a 'little person', is desperate to create a portal from the mound of trash in his living room before his landlord throws him out of the building.
I found this story beautifully written and oddly inspiring.
Florida Miracles A creature called "Mrs Henry" lives inside the head of a teenage girl and wants to escape. It's about as creepy as that sounds, but a little more complicated.
Mourning Food: Recipes Included
A mood piece that reminds me a little of both Poppy Z. Brite and Jeanette Winterson. It's wonderfully evocative.
Level Up Four women each find progressively more thorough ways to rid themselves of troublesome boyfriends.
Normally I read a short story anthology a little at a time, but I found with this one I wanted to keep on reading the stories back to back. It's so nice to find an author I've never heard of and immediately become a fan. Uncommon Miracles is a terrific new collection of strange tales to make you smile or make you think.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by PS Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Published: October 1, 2018