In their tiny, sea-beaten cottage on the north coast of Scotland, Liska and Ruth await the birth of their first child.
Each passes the time by telling the baby stories, trying to pass on the lessons they’ve learned: tales of circuses and stargazing, selkie fishermen and domestic werewolves, child-eating witches and broken-toothed dragons.
But they must keep their storytelling a secret from one another, as they’ve agreed to only ever tell the plain truth. So, to cloak their tales, Ruth tells her stories when Liska is at work, to a background of shrieking seabirds; Liska tells hers when Ruth is asleep, with the lighthouse sweeping its steady beam through the window.
I’M GOING TO tell you a story.RUTH
(@penguinrandom, 3 November 2016, 194 pages, ebook, borrowed from @GlasgowLib via @OverDriveLibs)
The structure of this collection is very similar to a collection by the author that I read recently, Things We Say in The Dark. I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the other book but really enjoyed these stories all the same. The stories get gradually darker towards the end of the collection and I preferred the later stories. The best were Cold Enough to Start Fires, The Mother of Giants, The Elephant Dance and The Ghost Club. I also enjoyed the little vignettes between the stories with each mother sharing words of wisdom with the unborn child. This is an impressive collection.