REVIEW: “Seven Kinds of Baked Goods” by Maria Haskins

Review of Maria Haskins, “Seven Kinds of Baked Goods”, Luna Station Quarterly 31: Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This is the second story is as many issues of Luna Station Quarterly that should not be read without some sort of homemade baked good on hand. Sadly, I had none, and spent the entire story feeling hungry.

First-person present-tense narration is a difficult combination to pull off well, even though it seems like such an easy voice when you’re writing, so when the story opened up with that, I was immediately leery. The story isn’t entirely told in the present-tense, though; the narrator quickly shifts into a retelling of her past, a past so delightful that I was immediately drawn in. But when it shifted back, I was (and now I am incredibly conscious of the fact that I myself am narrating in the first person shifting between past and present tense. Do you like my glass house?) left with the feeling I often get with FPPT — just who is the narrator speaking to, and why is she wasting her time telling her story instead of figuring out how to get out of the pickle she’s in?

And yet, my qualms about the narrative choices end up not seriously detracting from the story. Haskins manages to work in an impressive amount of world-building in a short amount of space, and her story does what I want any story to do: It left me wanting to read more.

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