The Wishing Pool and Other Stories

Akashic Apr. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781636141053. $29.95. HORROR
The latest story collection from Due (Ghost Summer) displays her skills at creating tales both sinister and magical. It begins with a sampling of her dark speculative fiction, an exploration into Gracetown, Due’s own fictional small town, and ends with a look at a bleak future that isn’t too far away. Like any good collection, this has something for everyone. Afrofuturists will gravitate toward Due’s vision (and warning) of what potentially lies ahead of us. Southern gothic horror fans will love visiting Gracetown, a town haunted by ghosts and demons that are both metaphorical and literal. The first part of the book is mainly for readers who just want a bite of something unsettling, which is a great way to describe Due’s fiction. All these tales end not with a bang of a resolution but with a subtle and sickening tilt of one’s perspective. Some readers might not like the lack of a definitive ending, but others’ imaginations will be working overtime long after they close the book.
VERDICT These stories come together to create an excellent jumping-off point for discovering Due’s body of work.
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