Genre: Speculative /Supernatural/Transgender Fiction
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Pub. Date: June 22, 2021
The ten stories in DiFrancesco’s book fluctuate between tales that are realistic, gothic, and way out there, meaning bizarre. The characters are all in the process of becoming their real selves or changing into something new.
“Inside My Saffron Cave” is a straightforward story. It centers on a transboy, his mother, and her abusive boyfriend. This is a sad yet hopeful tale showing how in 2021 transgender teens are not as alone with their feelings as they were in the past. Because of this fact, the author has turned a melancholy tale into a positive one. DiFrancesco also gives what feels like an inside look at Battered Women Syndrome.
“A Little Procedure,” has hints of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” centering on evil surgical operations. The short is dedicated to Rosemary Kennedy, which gives the reader a big hint of where the story will be heading. After the ‘procedure,’ the female protagonist speaks in a detached and quiet manner. This is deceiving because she has become a puppet-like ‘creature’ with a desire for revenge. So creepy.
“The Pure,” disavows all the folklore that has been written about vampires and the myths of the undead. Forget about Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Here vampires aren’t scary at all. The female vampire narrator falls in love with a living transgender man. The fun in the story is how the transman is shocked that the vampire has no need and no desire to hurt him. Such an unusual way to point out the good in the world while showing the disservice that misinformation causes.
DiFrancesco is not at all shy to explore the boundaries of magical realism. The writer seems to have a talent for making the unbelievable read real even though our logical minds know it cannot be. The author weaves in trans themes, but this book is for anyone who loves monsters, myths, legends, diversity, surrealism, fun, and even kindness. Finding kindness in these stories was such a pleasant surprise.
Find all my book reviews at: