Melanie Bell's Reading Recommendation:
As a Canadian weathering the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom, I've gravitated to books that help me understand and connect with the place where I live now. Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver hit all the right notes and offered delight in a difficult time. It's a puzzle box of a novel about a girl coming of age in a sprawling house in the middle of an English fen, under the thumb of a controlling father. Readers observe her clever attempts to craft avenues of freedom for herself as her father, haunted by his discovery of an ancient painting that recalls dark secrets from his past, grows progressively more unhinged. Read this for the intricate writing, vivid sense of place and culture (you might learn a thing or two about eel-babbing), intellectually satisfying plot, and haunting aftertaste. Gothic stories are having a revival, and I am here for it.
Melanie Bell holds an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia University. Her work has appeared in Cicada, Contrary Magazine, Huffington Post and other publications. She is the co-author of a nonfiction book, The Modern Enneagram, and her short story collection Dream Signs is forthcoming from Lost Fox Publishing. Her story A Limit to Growth is featured in the new Summer Fiction issue of The Fiddlehead. Order your copy today!