Incendiary Girls explores our baser instincts with vivid imagination and humor. In these stories, our bodies become strange and unfamiliar terrain, a medium for transformation. In “Fundamental Laws of Nature,” a doctor considers her legacy, both good and bad, when she discovers that her mother has been reincarnated as a thoroughbred mare. In the title story, a mischievous angel chronicles the remarkable life of a girl just beyond death’s reach.
In Scheer’s hands, empathy and attachment are illuminated by the absurdity of life. When our bodies betray us, when we begin to feel our minds slip, how much can we embrace without going insane? How much can we detach ourselves before losing our humanity? Scheer’s stories grapple with these questions in each throbbing, choking, heartbreaking moment.
This review is part of Kodi Scheer’s blog tour with TLC Book Tours. Find out more about the tour and all the stops here.
For more information about upcoming tours and events please visit TLC Book Tours.
I have two devices, a Kindle and Sony eReader, for reading. I had originally planned to read Incendiary Girls after a novel waiting on my eReader. Except, I had a trip into the city and forgot my eReader. Instead I brought my Kindle along and realised far too late that it was the wrong device.
So what to do? My city trip involved lounging around waiting on the grounds of Sydney Uni. Incendiary Girls is a collection of short stories. I decided I could always switch back to the original proposed read in-between some of the stories and then continue on with Incendiary Girls at a later date.
Well, didn’t my plans fall through? I read almost half of Incendiary Girls within the space of time I was waiting and probably would have finished it the same day if I hadn’t of had a full schedule. I found myself wanting to keep picking it up when I was forced to put it down. I find myself wanting to pick it up now and I’ve finished reading it.
I’m sure I’ve stated time and time again, on BA, that I love short stories. They’re a break from full length novels and a great way to sample an author’s work when you haven’t read it before. Incendiary Girls is a great collection of darkly humorous, thought-provoking, and ultimately bittersweet stories.
On several different occasions I found my heart aching with sadness for the characters, but then was rewarded with moments of revelations when characters found a kernel of hope and understanding. Incendiary Girls is a commentary on life and human nature delivered via way of quirky bundles that don’t come across as either cliched or preposterous. The mother being reincarnated as a horse, so as seen by her daughter, for example was something I found completely acceptable and especially in the face of the protagonists recent discovery.
Unusual? Yes. Jarring? Definitely not. Every story was written with smoothness and depth. Each character was fleshed out thoroughly and every conclusion suited each situation. I found it difficult to switch off after finishing Incendiary Girls. I couldn’t stop pondering each of the character’s experiences and what could possibly have happened to them next.
I’m glad Incendiary Girls was a novel I accidentally read ahead of my schedule and was able to read the majority of it while lounging around on a lawn. The stories within gave me food for thought, kept me engaged, and inspired me to write. This short story collection is one that will be going on my re-reading shelf.