And so, after eleven days, I come to the end of my Beyond the Wail reviews. The book ends on a great note, a thinking, slowly developing story about books, death and dragons (but, not so much of the dragons...).
In Due Date, Danielle Shipley weaves a tell where the narrator finds a secret library inside an old house. This library is like no other for inside are books not yet written. We get to know Shipley's narrator as she deals with the challenges of living in an old house, as she discovers hidden passageways and finally the cache of books.
But there's a deadly secret to the volumes contained in the library. Soon others will come to know of this secret, and the price they pay for this knowledge is absolute.
I really enjoyed the way this story unfolded. It wasn't "scare you to death" storytelling. It wasn't "blood and guts" literature. It was more "sit by the fire on a stormy night with a glass of your favorite beverage by your side, and if you're not allergic, maybe a cat as a companion" sort of story. The Danes have a word for just such ambiance...it's called hyggeligt, and it's a wonderful word.
Like many of the stories contained in Beyond the Wail: 12 Grave Stories of Love and Loss I wasn't sure where this story was headed. There was a nice twist at the end, something I didn't quite expect, but was very satisfying. Shipley crafted the story nicely, pacing it with just enough information and setup to complete the story's arch.
These stories have had at least one thing in common, I liked all of them--of course, some more than others. Those of you who are fans of short stories know the pleasure you get by finishing a complete story in a short period of time. I was able to read each one during the time it took me to commute to and from work on the bus. It's such a great length. I do love novels where you can really get into the world and the characters as well, but there's something special about a great short story. It satisfies like nothing else.
I recommend Shipley's Due Date and the other stories found in this anthology. Thank you to the authors, the editors and Xchyler Publishing for making it available. Now, I need to find another book to pick up, sit by a fire with a glass of my favorite beverage and invite the cat over. It will be hyggeligt.