Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review of Enchantment by Thaisa Frank

The short fiction of Thaisa Frank has captivated readers for two decades, and now many of those pieces are collected in one volume, along with several new stories. In the title story, a lonely mother and housewife orders an enchanted man from a website called The Wondrous Traveler, who arrives with instructions for use and a list of frequently asked questions about enchantment. In “Thread,” two circus performers who pass through the eye of a needle become undone by a complicated love triangle. In “Henna,” a young writing teacher must contend with an exotic student who will not write, her hands covered in dye and her fingers “sprouting innumerable gardens.” And in “The Loneliness of the Midwestern Vampire,” the undead descend upon the heartland of the country and become accustomed to its friendlier way of life, attending barn raisings and feasting on cattle in an attempt to normalize their darker passions.

These are vibrant, compelling stories that examine the distance between imagination and reality, and how characters bridge that gap in their attempt to reach one another.

3.5 stars

Enchantment by Thaisa Frank is a collection of short stories.  As with any similar collection there are stories that stand out to me as more enjoyable than others, but this is a solid collection overall.  A good portion of the stories take place in the world we are very familiar with, but with a hint of the fantastic mixed in.  They also deal with a lot of strong emotions love, loneliness, and death are common themes.  The stories within vary greatly in length giving a wide selection to choose from.  This is a great book for people who are looking for thought provoking stories filled with powerful emotions.


  1. I don't have the sense that reviewer read this book as a whole but as randomly-placed stories. This review did not capture the scope of what I experienced in reading the book. I'd urge people to see the writer Skip Horack's review in the SF Chonicle, in which he
    examines the novellas and the shorter stories in relation to each other, as well
    as the collection as a whole


  2. I agree. Read the SF Chronicle review if you really want to get a sense of the emotional and thematic scope of this collection.