St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

by Karen Russell

I was looking forward to this one, but ended up disappointed. Read the last story (which gave the book its title) first. It’s about a group of girls from a werewolf pack who are being assimilated into human society by a bunch of nuns. It was a great comparative read to Into That Forest, especially the girls’ wolflike behavior- pushing their ears into positions to communicate, lifting their hair up with hands to be like bristling fur. Made me think of Julie. It had interesting conflicts (one girl refuses to follow the nuns’ teachings and becomes outcast by the other girls, who are all in their way trying to adjust), and a satisfying enough ending. The rest of the stories in this book, well they just didn’t work for me. They were like urban fantasy gone feral, weird and twisted in a unique way. Something about them all reminded me of Geek Love (which personally, is not really a good thing). Just did not appeal here.

I tried, though. But in the end I only read two stories all the way through: the titular one about the wolf-girls, and one in the middle called “from Children’s Reminisces of the Westward Migration” about a pioneer family traveling in a wagon train- and the father was a minotaur, pulling his own wagon. I actually liked that one, strange as it was. The rest, couldn’t get more than a few pages in. There’s a family living in a Florida swamp with two sisters who wrestle alligators, an overnight camp for people with odd sleep disturbances, a community of retired people who live in decrepit houseboats and sign up with a program to receive visits from delinquent teenagers, among other strange settings. Just too strange and dark for me.

Rating: Abandoned
242 pages, 2006

2 Responses

  1. Ooh the Westward Migration one sounds really interesting! Usually I read anthologies with stories by all different authors, which at least gives me a chance to find a new one to read, but mostly I avoid them. I never have good odds with them (about what you had, finishing only two or three out of the whole book).

    1. You could probably find this one at a library to read just that one short story in it- I wish it had been a whole novel actually. That’s what I usually feel about short stories- if they’re good, it’s just enough to get me invested and then I’m disappointed when they end.

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