‘Home and Hearth’ by Angela Slatter – Review

homehearthHome and Hearth
by Angela Slatter

Spectral Press (http://spectralpress.wordpress.com)

This review will be short, because ‘Home and Hearth’ is short. That’s not to say the length in any way diminishes its strength or impact. Instead, the growing sense of dread seems concentrated, distilled to achieve maximum effect.

‘Home and Hearth’, by Angela Slatter, is the 11th title in Spectral Press’s Chapbook series. It concerns a family. A mother and her child and the absent father who has abandonded them. Caroline is a newly-single mum. Her teenage son, Simon, has returned home after being found innocent of a horrible crime, and like all parents Caroline feels a strong need to protect him. It is a base instinct; the knowledge that we’d do anything for our children, no matter what. That our love for them is unconditional. But what happens when that instinct is questioned? When the evidence mounts that our child may no longer be who we think they are?

‘Home and Hearth’ is a story that preys on readers through their empathy. Simon is as distant as any teenager can be, but Caroline’s love and fear are both realistically (and somewhat heartbreakingly) rendered right up until the confrontational end. And, if you’re a parent, that ending will probably hit you hardest of all.

Well paced and beautifully written, Angela Slatter has created a small and unsettling masterpiece with ‘Home and Hearth’. Highly recommended.

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This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Short story by Andrew J McKiernan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Andrew J McKiernan

Andrew J McKiernan is an author and illustrator living and working on the Central Coast of New South Wales. His stories have been published in magazines such as Aurealis and Midnight Echo and in numerous anthologies. He has twice (2009 & 2010) been shortlisted for both Aurealis and Australian Shadows Awards, as well as a Ditmar Award shortlisting in 2010. His illustrations have appeared in books and magazine as well as gracing their covers. http://www.andrewmckiernan.com

2 thoughts on “‘Home and Hearth’ by Angela Slatter – Review

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