REVIEW: “Salt and Flowers” by Jessica Lévai

Review of Jessica Lévai, “Salt and Flowers,” Cossmass Infinities 7 (2022): 49-57 — Purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Content note: Child abuse, violence, kidnapping.

I was so excited to start this story, because I thought I was going to get good disabled rep (the MC wears braces on her legs); but all hopes were dashed when the story turned out to be one of those “but magic can cure you of the need to wear leg braces!” So this story is a “no” from me.

REVIEW: “Wedding Feast” by Jessica Lévai

Review of Jessica Lévai, “Wedding Feast”, Luna Station Quarterly 28 (2016): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

The story opens on an ordinary enough scene — Violet is at the bridal shop with her mother, her sister, and her maid of honor, waiting for the final fitting of her wedding dress. All four women gossip about wedding plans and who the wedding planner is and who else’s weddings they’ve done, and it all seems rather ordinary except there is this huge undercurrent of something that is making all of them uncomfortable. It’s not that Violet’s dress has had to be altered to accommodate her cane, or the implication that she might be missing more than just a leg (possibly also an arm?); it’s something bigger than that, something tied up in a costs she has to pay either for or by her wedding. Lévai builds the tension and uncertainty until I am fairly chomping at the bit: What is going on that I, the reader, don’t (yet) know about?!

I won’t spoil the resolution, other than to say — it was not at all what I expected, nothing like anything I ever would’ve expected, and though it slightly turned my stomach, it was also — pardon the pun — delicious.