Friday, 7 July 2017

'Sand and Wine'

The Things That Grow With Us by Jordan Anderson is nothing if not diverse. From Lovecraftian space adventure and (un)heroic fantasy we move on to a small domestic tale of loneliness and imagination. 

Dani and her mother arrive at a run-down house by the sea. Mommy has a drink problem, Daddy's no longer on the scene, and Dani likes elephants because they are 'big and dopey and sweet'. The latter point becomes significant as the little girl explores the barely-remembered house while her mother gets sozzled in front of the TV. She finds a strange mirror with an elaborately decorated frame. Images of animals fascinate Dani, and then she breaks off part of the frame that happens to be a carved elephant.

It transpires that Dani is ill, perhaps terminally so. She collapses, clutching the piece of wood, and awakes to a new world. She goes outside, down to the sea. Dreams and reality merge as Dani gets her wish, while Mom sleeps on. It's a beautiful ending, on that is just ambiguous enough. This small, unpretentious tale is the best so far.

More of this runing review tomorrow, probably!

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