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Vermin by Adrienne Silcock
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**Note: Under normal circumstances, I would wait until the other reviewer was prepared to post. However, I've been granted the go ahead to proceed. Once the other reviewer is prepared, this review will show up on The Review Board.*

The title threw me a tad. I would have thought (without knowing the premise) the work was about aliens, since the title hints at science fiction.

Disclaimer: Very slight spoiler.

Before I get into the meat of “Vermin”, which is the main story, I’d like to share my thoughts on some of the stories that followed “Vermin”. The author added these stories because she felt they connected with some of the themes brought out in “Vermin”.

T’ Ain’t Long Until Saturday: I was definitely able to see the struggle with loneliness once a loved one has passed on. It reminds me of my grandmother, who has had a hard time coping since my grandfather died of cancer two years back. Nan has no interest in having a new beau but would like someone to talk to from time to time.

The Girl: This definitely fit the outcast component of Vermin. It is a microscope into the judgmental nature of small town folks and puts into question, “Which is the more tolerable sin?” This is reminiscent of the conflict in “Notes on a Scandal.”

Angel: The whole feel of this story is quite telling. George caused me to feel conflicted. He had ways about him that were bigoted, yet weren’t in an overly hateful way. His interaction with David demonstrated that he was slightly open to change, which was why he was a little upset once David left.

To me, those were the works that really did well to compliment Vermin. ”Robert’s Garden” is borderline; “Beating Mediocrity” and “Something to Tell Tommy” seemed slightly off.

Now let’s talk about Vermin.

Vermin was such an endearing story between Darren (the little boy) and Glory (the main character). Glory’s jargon and her takes on different situations has a “laugh at my pain” factor. I loved that she was willing to step out of her comfort zone to be there for Darren.

In addition, the banter between Jim and Glory made me smile. Yes, they were good friends, but the way Glory cared about Jim mirrored something slightly deeper. The most striking thing is that Jim didn’t have to necessarily live this way (he had resources), yet he chose to do so.

Vermin also demonstrates that two people can go through the same thing and yet have different perspectives. One would think that Sis and Gloria would have a closer relationship since both went through abuse. However, Sis’ way of dealing with the tragedy was putting up a fence of denial and treating it like it was “no big deal.” Sis contends that it didn’t impact her but it did. It rendered her emotionless because she equated displaying emotion with being abused. Sis learned as long as you don’t stir the pot, you have less of a chance of backlash.

Gloria took the brunt of the abuse, yet Sis doesn’t seem the least bit grateful. She is judgmental at almost every turn, deeming Gloria crazy and failing to put the pieces together at the damnation the abuse has done to her sister. How a girl interacts with her father marks the building blocks of how she will interact with other men in the future. Gloria is the product of fighting internal and external demons that have contributed to her overall stagnation. Not everyone has the strong will to crawl from abuse’s wrath unscathed; some stench lasts a lifetime.

I like the way Vermin outlines social stereotypes and prejudices. Although I applaud what the writer was attempting to do with the additional stories, I believe Vermin does just fine standing alone.

I hope the author does consider doing an electronic copy so that others have the chance to enjoy this powerful work of awareness. ( )
  NoLabelsUnleashed | May 22, 2015 |
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