• 2Treads

Monsters: inside us and around us.

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Another short story collection for #readcaribbean. This collection from Breanne McIvor was an enjoyable read, the stories were divided into two sections; Part 1 saw characters who were exposed to heartbreaking and disenfranchised circumstances, where they had little to no control of what is happening/has happened to them.

Part 2 saw stories with characters that are the things that nightmares are made of.

Tackling folklore, mental health, patriarchy, socioeconomics and sexuality, McIvor writes these stories with honesty, nuance and a distinct Caribbean flair that makes you root for them, dislike them, and also mourn for them.

In this collection of short stories, Mc Ivor takes readers on a journey through Trinidad (even when a story is not set there), exposing them to the concept of who and what, are monsters, where and when do monsters begin and end.

Each story stands as an allegory for the definition of monster and tell a story of just how real monsters are, even when we grow up on folkloric tales, warnings and superstitions of the kind of monsters that stalk the night; rarely are we ever told to watch out for the very real, very present monster-human.

I also love how certain societal norms and mores were interwoven throughout each story: familial expectations and pressure, economical struggle, financial stability and solvency, and the differing elements that define and encapsulate the male-female relationship.

Mc Ivor reveals the monster in the way her characters exist, how their circumstances, how they talk, treat, think about each other and themselves; how actions, and inaction as well, lead to the making of monsters. The stories are simple in the way they are relayed, but the underlying messages couldn't have hit any harder.

Favourites were:

The Course

The Cannibal of Santa Cruz

Robber Talk

The Boss

Kristofferson and Bonnie

The One Night Stand

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