I was super excited to receive a ARC of this novel, and want to thank Celadon books and the author for the chance to review! This is my first time reading Alexis Schaitkin, and I was very impressed.
I have never been a fan of speculative fiction, but something about Schaitkin’s horror-esque writing drew me in, and in the end it did not disappoint. It is a story of love and loss, but most importantly a telling of the coming of age of its main character and narrator - Vera.
While the story starts off very slow, it picks up and doesn’t fail to let you down anymore. The author is very practiced with her prose, and storytelling. She never seems like she is slowing down the story for the sake of the prose, which is most important. However, the story itself can be confusing and it often left me lost. There is not a good sense of solid worldbuilding around Vera, making the reader turned around. It’s hard to relate to a main character so different, without much explanation as to her motives and the world around her.
However, though I am not a mother, you don’t know just HOW refreshing it was to read a story from a mom’s point of view and the struggle of motherhood. For a speculative fiction, it was very easy to digest and follow - which was nice. My only gripe is that I believe the story would have benefitted from a lot more structure and world building.