Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Angela Slatter is firmly holding her position in my personal Top Ten list of favourite dark fiction authors since her outstandind debut collection “The Girl with No Hands” and her equally excellent second book “Surdough”.
Her narrative style is apparently direct and simple ( but how effective!) so much so that she’ s able to hide the sheer horror lurking behind it, ready to strike the reader with terror and angst.
The present chapbook confirms Slatter’s natural ability to tell a dark story with quiet innocence but cold realism and to reveal the horror beneath it with sudden ferocity.
Spoling is very easy when describing a short story, so I will simply tell that the plot is about a teenager coming back home after doing a terrible, evil deed and escaping punishment because found not guilty of it. But there seems to be something basically wrong with him, a hidden ,evil aspect of his soul which worries and scares his own mother.
The child’ s character is only sketched but that of the mother with her regrets, her fears and her anger is masterfully portrayed by Slatter throughout the story to its tragic ending.
Served with a slight touch of the supernatural ( the weaker and less convincing side of the story) ‘Home and Hearth’ is a tasty but addictive appetizer which will leave you longing for more.