Review of Maria Haskins, “A Strange Heart, Set in Feldspar”, in Abandoned Places, edited by George R. Galuschak and Chris Cornell (Shohola Press, 2018): 57-72 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
I love the title of this piece — it is stuffed full of possibility.
The story is told in alternating points of view, from above, from beneath, from between. These voices provide the shape of the mine that is the titular abandoned space of this story. At first, I thought it was a horror story, with all the horror that comes from being a parent myself and imagining it is not Alice but me in the mine, dark, claustrophobic, uncertain of where my children have gone. (Such simple things so terrifying.) And that horror is just a shadow horror that Alice must face: The choice between whether she wants to find her children or find her way out of the mine. But then, at the very end — I don’t want to say for fear of spoilers, but the ending makes me need to revise my original classification.
A powerful, real, and disturbing story — probably my favorite of the anthology so far.