I received a eARC of Uncommon Bodies for review. Unexpected travel cut into my time to read the whole book, however after reading one of the selections in the anthology, “Ruby and Deidre” by Robb Grindstaff, I bought the book as soon as I noticed that it was available today! Perhaps this selection resonated with me because in elementary school I was the tall girl. Fortunately others caught up with me and my plight was not that of the very tall, very lovely Deidre whose dreams of being on the stage seem hopeless because of her statue. Rudy, whose lack of height, renders him invisible to the beautiful Deidre, yearns for her to notice him. Told with a light but sure touch, it’s a delightful story. I look forward to reading all the selections, which as the title suggests, will indeed be uncommon.
Carol Robbins Hull
This is an intricate and intriguing mix of many different voices and stories. There will always be something new here, no matter how many times one re-reads the collection, and with such a variety of stories, this will most assuredly happen at least once. I thoroughly enjoyed the many different stories in this book – in particular, Sessha Batto’s work, Made For This. I am always delighted to crawl between the pages of her work, for even when she writes shorts like this one, the characters and situations are rich and well-detailed, even in the harshness of the moments they inhabit. Another fantastic read, which makes me reconsider my decade-long aversion to science-fiction, is Rebecca Poole’s “Unbreakable Heart”. The journey we take with her subject – I won’t reveal any names to avoid spoilers – is a delightful fray, filled with tense horror and the relief of revenge. Definitely another of my favourites.
The UnCommon Bodies anthology is fascinating. Sometimes shocking, even disturbing, it also provides moments of hilarity. A good example of this would be Sally Basmajian’s The Well-Rounded Head, in which a wife is only attracted to her husband because of his perfectly circular noggin. When his head appears to lose volume, the marriage hits the skids. Other stories may delight some readers and potentially upset some, too, but most are compulsively readable. This book is definitely worth checking out by a mature and discerning audience.