The Bone Mother: David Demchuk
Reviewed By Steve Stred
‘The Bone Mother’ has been on my radar for a bit, and when it finally arrived on top of my TBR pile – guess what?! – controversy around the publisher erupts. I let some time pass after reaching out to David to read this, wanting to let the review breathe and be as untainted from that as possible. I’m hoping this book finds a home so that more folks can enjoy it!
KR: The Bone Mother has indeed found a new home with Proving Ground Press and will be released 26/5/20
What I liked: This book is hauntingly gorgeous. Made up of small biographical chapters discussing ‘odd’ children and people on the cusp of an ‘event’ Demchuk blended their normal lives and goings-on with darker events that begin to ramp up more and more as the story progresses. I loved entering the worlds of these people, seeing how things moved along and it was incredible to see how each chapter had its own narrative voice.
What I didn’t like: it may sound trivial, but I kind of expected this thing to end with an all-out ‘war’ type chapter. While I have put this in my ‘what I didn’t like’ segment, trust me when I tell you the ending to this thing is beautiful and ripped my heart out.
Why you should buy this: when you can get your hands on this, know you are in for a real treat. Demchuk has been in the film and theatre world for some time and the blocking/flow of each chapter was superb. I’m by no means a fine-literature/cerebral-literature reading, writer or reviewer, but this book is on another level and was phenomenally well put together. Included throughout are some truly amazing photographs which heightened the emotions that each chapter delivered.
I look forward to seeing more from Demchuk in the future, and I’m hopeful more people can read this soon.
The Bone Mother
WINNER OF THE 2018 SUNBURST AWARD
NOMINATED FOR THE SHIRLEY JACKSON AWARD, AMAZON FIRST NOVEL AWARD, AND SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
For two hundred years, the Grazyn porcelain factory built its reputation on its magnificent thimbles. It is said that even the Czarina Anastasia Romanova had received one in her trousseau. The workers come from the three neighboring villages on the border of Romania and Ukraine. Nourished, dressed and educated, they are the envy of all at a time when a famine programmed by Stalin sweeps the countryside and cannibalism rages from city to town to farm. But what is the secret of this factory and why does the Grazyn family protect its employees so scrupulously?
The Bone Mother revives the great figures of Slavic mythology on the eve of the Second World War, from rusalka and Baba Yaga–The Bone Mother herself–to the golem. The existence of mortals is intimately linked to that of witches and vampires, in a universe where strigois rub shoulders with mermaids, ghosts and seers…and all are in peril from the Nichni Politsiyi, the Night Police, which wish to eradicate them.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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