REVIEW: “Joinery” by Jennifer Lyn Parsons

Review of Jennifer Lyn Parsons, “Joinery”, Luna Station Quarterly 36 (2018): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This entire issue of Luna Station Quarterly is filled with strong, confident, older women, which has made the entire collection of stories a joy to read. Regine, in Parsons’ “Joinery”, is no exception. I loved the care and dedication with which she approached not only her woodworking but also the other people who lived on the same technologically-backward planet, Diot. When an unexpected stranger arrived in her isolated village, Regine is wary but not suspicious. Grannie Hella knows more than she lets on, and lets on that she knows too much. She also brings with her more than Regine could ever imagine.

I love when a story sucks me into all its layers, and hints at all number of layers that can’t be reached in the course of a single short story but which are clearly there, touched on here and there. Who are the Bright Ones? What is their curse, and can it ever be broken? Why does Grannie Hella come to Regine? All these questions swirl around — some are answered, others, painfully, are not — and the end result is a story that’s both bittersweet and hopeful.

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