Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Beyond The Wail" Reviews...A. F. Stewart's "The Weeping Lady"

And the distance between them swelled with the soft tremor of tearful regret and mourning."

A. F. Stewart's story begins with Eva Douglas returning home and she is none too happy about doing so. Knowing what I now know about Eva Stewart's story, I understand why.

The Weeping Lady tells Eva's story and her tragic past, a past she's forced to confront yet again. Eva returns home because her younger sister is missing. As bad as this situation is, Eva must also deal with her mother. It's very evident their mother/daughter relationship is, in a word, strained. The search for the missing sibling is concentrated on a nearby stream.

The stream and Eva share a terrifying past, and it has to do with a weeping lady. The above quote comes from the story. It's a sentence located near the end and I included because I loved the language. Stewart beautifully paints a world of wonder and horror. As she describes the story's pivotal scene, I became uncomfortable because I knew what was happening and could see it in my mind. It was something I didn't want to see, something humans are capable of doing--the darkest side of ourselves.

The story culminates with a battle of wills, a battle I actually didn't know how it would turn out. Eva is strong and when she must face her past and battle for her future and that of her sister, she shows this strength. I know I'm being vague, but I don't want to give too much of the story away.

Like the other short stories in Beyond the Wail: 12 Grave Stories of Love and Lost, The Weeping Lady has lost love, and a hope for the future. Well done, Ms. Stewart!