The Wishing Pool and Other Stories

Recorded Books. Apr. 2023. 8:14 hrs. ISBN 9781705098141. $19.99. HORROR
Due’s (Ghost Summer) latest collection of short stories traverses a range of genres, from Southern gothic horror to Black horror and Afrofuturism. The book is divided into four parts: “Wishes,” “The Gracetown Stories,” “The Nayima Stories,” and “Future Shock.” “Suppertime” is an adventure featuring a bobcat and a swamp monster. “Rumpus Room” follows a down-on-her-luck mom who accepts lodging offered by a stranger, only to be haunted by bizarre happenings in the proffered room. “Shopping Day” is a postapocalyptic story of a mother who must leave her two children to get supplies, with dire consequences if she doesn’t return by curfew. Although some stories end abruptly, listeners should enjoy Due’s unique, carefully drawn characters and the monsters (human and otherwise), demons, and ghosts that haunt them. Throughout the collection, Due dwells upon themes of family relationships, loneliness, child-endangerment, and generational trauma, centering each story on Black experiences and Black protagonists. William DeMeritt and Jasmin Walker expertly narrate the stories, maintaining the tension with excellent pacing and layered characterizations.
VERDICT A deftly written, atmospheric short-story collection for fans of Jordan Peele, P. Djèlí Clarke, and Octavia E. Butler.
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