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5 stars for Unaccustomed to Grace by @BannatyneLesley #bookreview #shortstories #bookish

Title: Unaccustomed to Grace

Author: Lesley Pratt Bannatyne

Genre: Short Stories, Modern Fables

Book Blurb:

Unaccustomed to Grace is a collection of short stories where the unlikely outcome for irresponsible acts and unfortunate events result in redemption. Bannatyne's mastery of the written word informs these stories of common conflict with a brilliantine magic rarely found in contemporary literature. From the unlikely romance between a zoo employee and a spiritualist/activist to the redemption of a grandmother's long-rehearsed vengeance, these heart-warming stories are the contemporary fables we need in these stressful days.

My Review:

Are you looking for a short story collection that’ll take you into a universe not seen by many, where the paranormal and normal converge? You’ll meet an undead corpse hanging out in a bar wanting to be buried. You’ll meet a dad who leads a rampage against his neighbor. You’ll meet a grieving mom who discovers an online forum of parents who have had their dead children returned to them. You’ll meet a kid who involves himself in a manhunt for a bomber. All of these stories have equal parts creepiness and the inspiring nature of humans. Are you ready to launch into the Grace Zone?

Unaccustomed to Grace is not what I expected… it’s even better! If you take a glance at the title, you don’t think of zombies, do you? I didn’t either but when you delve into the bizarre, you realize how relevant this title is. I love dark humor stories and in Unaccustomed to Grace, you’ll read some inexplicable circumstances and characters. Each story is a complete story in short form with characters, plot, conflict, and resolution. The situations may be different, but the theme remains true. My favorite story is, “The Corpse Walks Into a Bar”. Its tongue-in-cheek humor is perfect for those who enjoy reading about zombies. Lesley Bannatyne is a very talented writer with a firm grasp of dark humor, paranormal, short stories. I connected with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories. I think Rod S. from The Twilight Zone would find Unaccustomed to Grace fascinating and so would his fans. If you enjoy genuinely bizarre paranormal short stories with a dash of humor, you’ll want to read Unaccustomed to Grace. Horror fans would also enjoy this collection of stories. I look forward to reading more from Lesley Bannatyne. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 stars

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Author Biography:

Lesley Bannatyne is an American author who writes extensively on Halloween, especially its history, literature, and contemporary celebration. She also writes short stories, many of which are included in her debut collection _Unaccustomed to Grace_, out from Kallisto Gaia Press in March, 2022. One of the country's foremost authorities on Halloween, Bannatyne has shared her knowledge on television specials for the History Channel ("The Haunted History of Halloween," "The Real Story of Halloween"), with Time Magazine, Slate, National Geographic, and contributed the Halloween article to World Book Encyclopedia. In 2007, she and several compatriots set the Guinness World Record for Largest Halloween Gathering, a title they held until 2009. Lesley has written five books on Halloween, ranging from a children's book, Witches Night Before Halloween, to Halloween Nation, which examines the holiday through the eyes of its celebrants. The book was nominated for a 2011 Bram Stoker Award. Her other titles are A Halloween How-To. Costumes, Parties, Destinations, Decorations (2001); A Halloween Reader. Poems, Stories, and Plays from Halloweens Past (2004), and Halloween. An American Holiday, An American History, celebrated 30 years in print in 2020. Her fiction and essays have been published in the Boston Globe, Smithsonian, Christian Science Monitor, and Zone 3, Pangyrus, Shooter, Craft, Ocotillo Review, Fish, and Bosque Literary Magazines. She won the 2018 Bosque fiction prize and received the 2019 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award for fiction, the 2020 fiction prize, and was a finalist for many others, including the Tennessee William Literary Festival Writing Award, the Carve Prose & Poetry Contest, and the Hudson Prize. As a freelance journalist, she covered stories ranging from druids in Massachusetts to relief workers in Bolivia. Lesley lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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Reviewed by: Mrs. N


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