STARVING GHOSTS IN EVERY THREAD
By Eric LaRocca
Available May 2020
I saw this novella everywhere in 2020, it seemed. I’d also heard LaRocca was a writer to watch, this being an impressive debut. Now that I’ve read Starving Ghosts in Every Thread, I can see why.
LaRocca has a darkly poetic way to his writing. Think Sara Tantlinger crossing Kealan Patrick Burke. This particular story has a unique concept behind it; one that is strange, yet delivered in a casual way.
“Teddy has a secret….She’s so consumed with guilt that it compels her body to literally unravel unless she feeds off the emotions of others. Teddy’s parasitic condition is usually tempered easily and is invisible to most, unless she feeds from them. However, her insatiable hunger has already begun to threaten her safety. Trapped in her tiny Connecticut hometown thanks to a careless mistake which cost her a prestigious scholarship, Teddy grieves her father’s death and cares for her neurotic mother, Mercy, who is convinced scorpion venom is the only remedy for her own peculiar skin ailment linked to her daughter’s sadness.”
Honestly, it confused me a little – I really wasn’t sure what to make of Teddy’s “woes” or how they worked through her or the where/when/how of the condition – but it was intriguing and compelling, nevertheless. I also was a little hung up on Kiiara’s gift, which felt a little forced and pointless in the grand scheme of things. Otherwise, the story presented here had me hooked. I just wanted there to be more; more explanation, more depth, more to the story.
LaRocca has easily cemented himself on my to-watch list with Starving Ghosts in Every Thread, so you can bet I’ll follow up with his new book when it releases soon.
Highlights: Excellent writing, poetic and dark … interesting concept, unique … exciting finale
Shadows: Teddy’s “condition” is a little underdeveloped, leaving questions to be asked … Kiiara’s own gift doesn’t feel like it should have ever been revealed or used in the story
FFO: Ghostly quick bites of fiction … unique horror stories … poetic writing styles
Takeaway: Starving Ghosts in Every Thread is just as compelling as it is unique and disquieting. LaRocca has a skillful writing style that is difficult to match.
Would I read this author again? Yes
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