The Woman Under The Ground

Over the past two years, I’ve written several book reviews for leftlion (Nottingham’s free culture magazine). To ensure that I keep copies of what I’ve written for them, I’m posting them here too. So, without further ado:

The Woman Under The Ground

Megan Taylor

£7.99 (Weathervane Press)

We’ll start with Mrs Sawyer, a mother on a school run. What could be more ordinary? With Megan’s characters, each one has a particular brand of darkness within. In Mrs Sawyer’s case, it’s the voices. For Cara, she cannot resist the lure of the woods, and that place where all her secrets collide – where a woman made of earth and roots lies in the ground. Megan Taylor’s first short story collection is a beautiful but dark affair, exploring illness, guilt, trauma, absent mothers, ghosts as physical manifestations, imaginary siblings, broken relationships and insects preserved behind glass. But it’s offset by some beautiful Tim Burton-esque illustrations which accompany each story and distort the reader’s expectations. If you like short stories, you won’t want to rush with this book. Read it slowly. Treasure its characters – the wonderful, dangerous, honest creatures that they are.

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