An interesting take on the Gothic form, with some eerie tales, some tales of life on the downside of things and some tales of tragedy, which leave you feeling either down or disturbed, but none of which fail to stir emotions in the reader.
My favourites were "The Illusion of Progress", about a single parent father who lives for his young son, "Winter's Eden" about two students going to stay with their uncle and disabled aunt and "Hope Leaves" about a man whose wife is in a coma following an accident, all of which are imbued with heart break and tragedy.
On the more macabre side, the strange "Frailty" about a grave-robbing photographer working on a very strange assignment for a necrophiliac was decidedly attention-grabbing.
The writing style often belies the setting of the stories - I often felt that they were set in Victorian times due to the language and tone, only to discover they were far more contemporary, which added to the general sense of otherworldness.
The tales are subtle and eloquent - if you're looking for shocks and gore, then this isn't the collection for you. However if you want some wonderfully written tales from the darker side of life, then you should definitely investigate this further.
Reviewed by Helen Marquis, Netgalley