Alligators, Glowworm Grottos, & Restless Nights

If you are reading “St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves” then you understand the title of this post.  I have read the first three stories in this ten story collection by Karen Russell and so far, I’ve been confused, curious, and charmed.  I was very confused by the first story, “Ava Wrestles The Alligator” and wasn’t too sure if I was going to enjoy the rest of these short stories all set in the Florida Everglades.  The first one had so many hidden meanings and was just plain strange. 

I really enjoyed the second story, “Haunting Olivia”.  I was saddened by the brothers search for their sister as well as hopeful for a happy ending of some kind.  Russell’s descriptions are so vivid and I felt a bit damp by the end of the second story.

The third story is titled, “Z.Z.’s Sleep-Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers”.  My favorite paragraph in this story, and really so far is:  “This isn’t the ashes to ashes of our dreams.  This is Merino, our living, bleating lamb, now a heap of meat and sweaters.”  To describe the dead carcass of a lamb as meat and sweaters is just so clever to me. 

I began the fourth story, “The Star-Gazer’s Log of Summertime Crime” this afternoon and so far it’s not one of my favorites but it’s only just begun so maybe it will turn around.  I’ll be sure to let you know. 

How are you doing?  Have you picked your copy up yet, and if so, which stories have you read so far?