REVIEW: “Down Among the Fireweed” by Sarah McGill

Review of Sarah McGill, “Down Among the Fireweed”, Luna Station Quarterly 36 (2018): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This story of Jack, born to a mother who could not care for him and so made a compact with Tom Scratch, an exchange of her child’s future for his life, and of Marjorie Hart, the only one who could remove the chains that bound Jack, is told in a “forsoothly” sort of voice to enhance its old-fashioned, old-world, old-timey feel. At times this works for me, while at other times it simply ends up either over-written (too many words for too little feeling or action) or under-written (leaving me uncertain what just happened).

The story is quite complex, so having the narrative style interfere with it, as it did for me, meant I got to the end still unsure quite how it hung together, and wishing that I had understood it better. This might be one to reread.