Beautifully written, this novella was a short and dark visit inside the mind of a young woman.
Georgina, (George), became friends with Sylvie in a rather dark antique shop. There, Sylvie shares a secret; she can tell where an object has been just by touching it. George though? George never shares her secret with Sylvie or anyone else, (at least not verbally). Why not? You'll have to read this to find out!
Right from the get-go, right from the opening line:"Sylvie never called them ghosts, but that's what they were." THE ATTIC TRAGEDY had me in its grip. This is a poignant tale about unrequited love, about feeling that you're different, that you're never a part of things, never at home, even in your own body. During your teen years, (which is where this book began), one is always feeling awkward and out of place to start with. Add in a few of the issues these teens were experiencing and it adds up to an almost unbearable state. Did I mention there's a supernatural aspect to this story as well? At least, I think there was...
I'm surprised at how much feeling the author was able to pack into this novella, (perhaps novelette, technically speaking). Please believe me when I say, Mr. Ashley-Smith can write. In one scene where George wants to reach out to Sylvie, there's this description:
"My fingers stretched and recoiled, daring then afraid, expanding and contracting like some skittish undersea creature; the kind of thing that dwells in shadow on the ocean floor, its hideous misshapen body an insult to nature."
So vivid, so beautiful, so easy to picture. My heart went out to both of these young women, but especially to George. I have to wonder what would have happened had things worked out differently. I do know I'll be thinking about both of them for a while. This was my first experience with this author and I hope to read more of his work in the future!
*Thanks to Meerkat Press for the digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*