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Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley

Beautiful Sorrows

by Mercedes M. Yardley

Other authors: P. Gardner Goldsmith (Foreword), K. Allen Wood (Editor)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received an Early Reviewers copy of Beautiful Sorrows from LibraryThing. It is a beautifully written collection of some very dark and disturbing stories. I had to wait a bit between some of them to try to process what happened. I’m still confused about the Marys, horrified by Andros, and heartbroken over Samson’s star. The story that touched me the most was “She called him Sky.” If you like dark and disturbing, I highly recommend Beautiful Sorrows. ( )
  mtlkch | May 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley is a collection of short fiction. The pieces vary in topic and tone, with a light dark vibe overall (some more horror than others). I have not previously (to my knowledge) read anything by this author.

I enjoyed the pieces that played with a bit of humor more, including "Axes" and "Untied." Some of the stories have very dark outcomes, like "Luna E Volk" and many are just unclear enough to leave pieces or even the ending to the imagination of the reader. Readers looking for a more lighthearted piece would likely enjoy "The Boy Who Hangs The Stars" or "A Place Shielded from Horrors." If you want to feel a little sad, read "The Container of Sorrows" or "Pixies Don't Get Names."

Overall I enjoyed this collection; while some stories did not resonate with me (especially the shortest) the author seemed to cover enough ground that the rest of the stories made up for it. In addition, the short explanation behind each story at the end was interesting, although some of the explanations were just as short and unclear as the stories. ( )
  paigeedd | May 10, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a copy of Beautiful Sorrow through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This compilation of short stories is very conceptual and emotional. Don't expect a straighfoward read. This dark and beautiful prose is more of a dream sequence than a narration.

I especially enjoyed 'Wings' and 'Stars' which contain love and loss, and enjoying others.

Yardley gives her thoughts on each story at the end, which I enjoyed immensely. Glad I was able to read this. Would recommend for any teen or adult. ( )
  chutchi | May 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Compilation of beautifully haunting short and brief stories and tales. Impressive narrative and exceptional to read.
Each story seems to be magically engaging and full of unexpected surprises.
Each storyline extracting a different emotion from the reader. Whilst ‘Black Mary’ sent me chills, ‘Pixies Don’t Get Names’ gave me a feeling of endearment. Whilst ‘The Boy Who Hangs The Stars’ is a complete fairytale delight, ‘The ABC’s Of Murder’ troubled me.

Mercedes M. Yardley’s writing is almost non-sensical and whimsical but charming and touching all at the same time taking the reader on an emotive journey throughout.
The title is certainly apt as each story is precisely that, a ‘beautiful sorrow’.

Well worth reading and well beyond the 5 stars given! ( )
  Lin_K | May 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Review copy

I've been hearing great things about this book for some time and with the new release from the fine folks over at Apex Books, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

First of all, kudos to Yannick Bouchard for an absolutely wonderful cover for Beautiful Sorrows. Then there's the glowing introduction by P. Gardner Goldsmith comparing Mercedes' writing to the sirens in Greek mythology. Can the book possibly live up to all the hype? Well, I'm happy to say it does.

The contents in this book have all been published elsewhere, but are collected here for the first time and run the gamut from flash fiction to longer pieces all giving you glimpses into the heart and soul of Mercedes M. Yardley. At the end of the book, Mercedes graciously provides insights into each of her stories and many of these are as entertaining as the stories themselves.

Some of the highlights for me include "Black Mary", a haunting story of child molestation. Horrible by nature, but beautifully told.

The opening line of "The Boy Who Hangs the Stars" was particularly beautiful...

"Once there was a girl who was sitting by the river. She liked to watch the water, and listen to what it had to say. Usually it was nonsense, but every now and then it came up with something important."
This was one of my favorite stories and had a fable-like feel to it.

Then there's "Untied" an unlikely tale of a suicidal man and the woman inside the window he's threatening to jump from.

Another story with a suicidal theme was "Music To Jump By". I'm generally not a fan of stories without an ending, but damn if this wasn't a perfect tale.

Mercedes M. Yardley's tales are small slices of life with pieces of the souls around us. Although I enjoyed the many melancholy stories in Beautiful Sorrows, I loved the comedic horror in "Axes". Can you imagine death as your roommate? Imaginative, funny, and totally entertaining. Followed immediately by "The Quiet Places where Your Body Grows." One minute she's making you laugh and the next she's tearing your heart out. And that's a good thing.

And then there's "Stars," a wonderfully fanciful story. It's the little things that make a Mercedes story work for me. Like the dog who's name changed weekly. I can relate. My wife and I have two dogs, one I would never consider changing her name and the other I try to change every few weeks, but my wife won't let me.

I can't leave without mentioning "Big Man Ben" another of my favorites, the longest story in the collection and one that just left me devastated.

Expect the unexpected in these stories, many of the tales are downright inexplicable. Recommended.

Beautiful Sorrows is available from the Apex book company in both paperback and e-book formats.

From the author's bio - Mercedes has three kids, a husband and no time to write, although she tries her very best. She is the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the “serial killers in love” novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, the BONE ANGEL trilogy, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, and the Bram Stoker Award winner Little Dead Red. She specializes in the dark and beautiful. ( )
  FrankErrington | May 8, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mercedes M. Yardleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Goldsmith, P. GardnerForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wood, K. AllenEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 098827230X, Paperback)

There is a place where sorrows pile up like snow and rest in your hair like cherry blossoms. Boys have wings, monsters fall in love, women fade into nothingness, and the bones of small children snap like twigs. Darkness will surely devour you--but it will be exquisitely lovely while doing so.

Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows is an ephemeral collection encompassing twenty-seven short tales full of devastation, death, longing, and the shining ribbon of hope that binds them all together.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:59 -0400)

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