The anthology, Hardened Hearts, edited by Eddie Generous was passed to me by HorrorAddicts.net in return for an honest review.
5 out of 5 stars.
In this anthology you find an extraordinarily well-written collection which touches on love in all its forms – parental love, adulterous love, drug-hazed love, app-directed love – with outcomes ranging from happy-ever-after to pure tragedy. It was hard to pick out favourites because of the sheer quality of the writing but I make no apology for highlighting the following:
40 Ways to Leave Your Monster Lover by Gwendolyn Kiste. A very strong opening story told from the perspective of someone trying to break out of an abusive relationship. As you read however, you find your perspective flipped at times and you begin to wonder about the victim as they seem to harbour a little of the monster themselves …
It Breaks My Heart to Watch You Rot by Somer Canon. A heartbreaking tale of the loss of a loved one to dementia, something which affects so many families these days.
The Pink Balloon by Tom Deady, a family in crisis is destroyed after an innocent trip to the fair results in the death of a child.
Burning Samantha by Scott Hallam which depicts the tragedy of being unable to live your life as the gender you truly want to. A theme similarly reflected in the exploration of sexuality in Class of 2000 by Robert Dean where homophobia results in suffering and death.
All the stories in this anthology carry a powerful message with styles ranging from gritty urban to almost fairytale. You will not be disappointed by this book.
Stephanie Ellis can be found at https://stephellis.weebly.com and on twitter @el_Stevie.
When Stephanie is not writing reviews, she is co-editor at The Infernal Clock (http://infernalclock.blogspot.co.uk/) a fledgling publishing venture and is also co-editor at The Horror Tree’s Trembling With Fear online magazine (https://horrortree.com/category/trembling-with-fear/) where they’re always open for flash submissions. She has also had short stories and a novella published in a variety of horror anthologies and magazines.