There is a place where sorrows pile up like snow and rest in your hair like cherry blossoms. Boys have wings, monsters fall in love, women fade into nothingness, and the bones of small children snap like twigs. Darkness will surely devour you—but it will be exquisitely lovely while doing so.
Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows is an ephemeral collection encompassing twenty-seven short tales full of devastation, death, longing, and the shining ribbon of hope that binds them all together.
While I’m a true lover of novels, there’s a part of me that loves a good collection of short stories. There’s something so liberating about their brevity that allows authors and readers alike to try on new subjects like so many sweaters on a cool winter day. And it was in just such an environment, a cold winter break up in Michigan, that I read Ms. Yardley’s darkly compelling series of stories.
Ensconced in my winter vacation, I had the chance to travel to so many different worlds via Ms. Yardley’s fantastic, lyrical prose. Her topics, ranging from the sweetly fantastical The Boy Who Hangs The Stars to the gut-wrenchingly dark, Black Mary, we woven together seamlessly in a beautiful skein of images. I still find myself pondering the stories, like Luna e Volk (a sad and lovely take on werewolves) and wondering what they would evolve into if they had been coaxed into full length novels. But in the end, I find that I’m happy with the way Ms. Yardley tied up all her stories, even those secured loosely. They’re lovely, like poetry, and they’re true gems just as they are.