Book Review


willis-deborah-the-dark-and-other-love-stories-coverTitle: The Dark and Other Love Stories
Author: Deborah Willis
Format: eBook, courtesy of NetGalley and W. W. Norton & Company
Start Date: January 5, 2017
End Date: January 14, 2017
Rating: 4 stars


I was on the fence for most this collection of what to rate them. They were good, true, but nothing particularly jumped out at me that would push them over the threshold of three stars. It wasn’t until I read “The Ark” that there was a spark. With this spark, I started to reevaluate the whole set and realized something: these stories were more than just about love in various forms. It wasn’t always about the love that two people show openly to other people, but it was about the love that they keep buried deep, the love that they don’t really talk about.

Like the dark, there is something just below the surface. The reader can’t always trust the narrator completely, and that adds another layer to the story. Did Kevin’s girlfriend really go to Mars, or was he high and imagining the whole thing? Was there really a hole in Steve and Lauren’s living room, or was that a representation of their marriage and life together?

The overarching theme of this collection is that the dark obscures the truth, and as a result, we (the readers) are left floundering with an incomplete sense of the narrative. Love itself is also dark and mysterious, but it is also revealing when we bring it to the light.

Willis’ prose was beautiful and often had an almost ethereal feel to it. One of my favorite quotes was from “The Ark.”

I lived in a fog, a beautiful fog like in paintings of winter, of ocean. Memories passed by like clouds on the other side of a window.

I really enjoyed each of the stories published in this collection. The cover was beautiful and further conveyed the theme nicely. Four stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and W. W. Norton & Company for an advanced copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review.

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