REVIEW: “Milk Teeth and Heartwood” by Kathryn McMahon

Review of Kathryn McMahon, “Milk Teeth and Heartwood”, Syntax and Salt #5, December 2017: Read Online. Reviewed by Tiffany Crystal

This is another story I’m not really sure how I feel about. It has an interesting premise, but there isn’t enough substance. It feels like it could be so much better…almost like it was rushed. She put together this great idea, the bare bones of it, and then just…threw it out there for the world to see. It’s really disappointing. There’s so much more she could’ve delved into.

Like, why is it only the mother and daughter? If the trees protect them, what happened to the father? Did the mother leave like her daughter had, only to come back pregnant, and that’s why they’re alone? What does the girl’s lovers think of the red lace that covers her arms? Do they know about the trees, or is that a local thing? How long was she gone, for her mother to have tree trunks for legs? Did moving away do anything to slow the change? Did she buy the weedkiller to use on herself, or in case the trees tried to follow her?

The story isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong. It’s just…missing something.