REVIEW: “The Graveyard Library” by Anastasiya Sukhenko

Review of Anastasiya Sukhenko, “The Graveyard Library”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

My very favorite short stories are ones that have a good title (check) and a first paragraph that open up all the possibilities for how that title can be understood (check). Three sentences into Sukhenko, and I could not wait to read more.

Writers understand the importance of telling stories, and the ways in which the stories we tell, and hear, are intimately linked with who and what we are. Sukhenko takes this fact literally in “The Graveyard Library” and the result is the creation of something we as writers can only dream of.

REVIEW: “Little, Little, Little” by K. A. Tutin

Review of K. A. Tutin, “Little, Little, Little”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This is a slightly gruesome story of transformation (if body-mod things squick you out, you might want to avoid this), and I almost really enjoyed it — it was suffused with love and freedom and acceptance. But it was told in 2nd person, and in this context, that POV just didn’t work for me.

REVIEW: “Blood Feathers”

Review of Anonymous, “Blood Feathers”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This is a story of a woman who is lost inside herself, lost inside the trapping of being a woman, being a mother, being “a support, a failsafe, for her family.” She doesn’t have time for friends, for hobbies, for anything more than a linear life of one thing after another. But there’s more to Ren’s life than that, and we the readers are given intermittent glimpses, as the unfamiliar breaks through the routine, as the fantastical interferes with the normal, as Ren herself tries to reconstruct the memories she once lost. It’s an eerie, unsettling story, smashingly done.

REVIEW: “Heaven-Bound” by Hayli McClain

Review of Hayli McClain, “Heaven-Bound”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

College student Ann — disowned by her family, with no friends or connections, no one to miss her — goes off into the woods one night, intending to disappearing. Instead, she meets Percy, who is trying to pull down the moon, and all in the name of true love.

This was an absolutely adorable and delightful love story and I really enjoyed it!

REVIEW: “Margins” by Elizabeth Hinckley

Review of Elizabeth Hinckley, “Margins”, Luna Station Quarterly 44 (2020): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Adrian’s life has always been lived at the margins, “where all of the excitement, beauty, and magic were.” At the start, I was excited to read more about that life, especially the summers he spends with his father the circus-worker, but we got so much history at the beginning, and not enough story, that I lost interest. I kept reading, though, and was rewarded by a sharp, sudden crossing of a margin about half-way through (a transition point that I wish had come much earlier). What came after was still somewhat plodding at times, but was overall intriguing.

REVIEW: “Of Moonlight and Music” by Kayla Whittle

Review of Kayla Whittle, “Of Moonlight and Music”, Luna Station Quarterly 44 (2020): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Every full moon the circus comes to Elsie’s town, but none of the townspeople ever go; only strangers visit the circus. Until one month, when Elsie wakes up to a sign that marks her out as the first of her village to be called to the circus. “Everyone comes to the circus to find something they’ve been missing,” the Ringmaster tells her when she arrives, but Elsie visits all the stalls and sees all the performances and none of them are what she is looking for. Instead, her missing piece is something entirely different — something that made me really really happy when she finally found it. This was a quiet story overall, but rather deftly done.

REVIEW: “Crab Pots” by Amanda Baldeneaux

Review of Amanda Baldeneaux, “Crab Pots”, Luna Station Quarterly 44 (2020): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Skyla’s life is ordinary, mundane, and miserable — husband, two children, no more job once she had her children, doing all the parenting while her husband loafs amongst the crab pots. “Weekends always made her feel like a failure,” we are told, and it that sentence I, and I am sure many other readers will see themselves reflected. The most exciting thing in her life is the gift of a new bikini, and even that comes with demands. There’s no way she could wear it without at least getting waxed. “If her family would just leave her alone she could get everything done without falling behind” — another line that will hit close to home for many mothers.

It’s a cliche to say “everything changes when” but everything does change for Skyla when Gwyn, the optometrist’s office manager, invites Skyla and her sons to an anti-circus protest — after all, mermaids weren’t meant for captivity.