Behrg Reviews: "The Book of Baby Names" by Norman Prentiss
"In the best stories, the child always dies in the end.”
Everyone has those favorite authors you read who just speak to you. Their writing style, voice, the narrative choices they make, everything combines into an experience that just has you smiling inside. "The Book of Baby Names" is an excellent reminder of why Norman Prentiss is on my list, and one I consider a must-read author. The title for this collection of short stories doesn't necessarily clue you in to its darker undertones, but the commonalities tying these stories together resolves around the theme of children. To speak to the strengths of Prentiss' skills, every story is unique, never repeating the same message while exploring different sides of this rubik's cube-like coin. Grief of a lost child; the challenges of conceiving; a child that is more monster than human; the fears of single parenting; the challenges of a gay couple raising a child . . . each of these is explored but within a horror backdrop, allowing the themes to be present but secondary to the horror story taking place. A darkly beautiful collection and great introduction to Prentiss' work, one I highly recommend. This book is currently on sale for just $0.99 on Amazon, a steal at that price.