A grieving man travels through time via car crash. A family of matriarchs collects recipes for the dead. A woman gains a...

Review || Uncommon Miracles by Julie C. Day

A grieving man travels through time via car crash. A family of matriarchs collects recipes for the dead. A woman gains an unexpected child in the midst of a bunny apocalypse. An outcast finds work in a magical slaughterhouse. 

Julie C. Day’s debut collection is rife with dark and twisted tales made beautiful by her gorgeous prose and wonderfully idiosyncratic imagination. Melding aspects of Southern Gothic and fabulism, and utilizing the author’s own scientific background, Day’s carefully rendered settings are both delightful and unexpected. Whether set in a uniquely altered version of Florida’s Space Coast or a haunted island off the coast of Maine, each story in this collection carries its own brand of meticulous and captivating weirdness.

 Yet in the end, it is the desperation of the characters that drives these stories forward and their wild obsessions that carry them through to the end. It is Day’s clear-eyed compassion for the dark recesses of the human heart and her dream-like vision of the physical world that make this collection a standout. 

This gorgeous collection of dark and tangled tales is for the lover of the strangely beautiful. Each short story is disquieting yet bizarrely poetic. Releasing the imagination, this compilation of weird fiction blends horror, fantasy, and magical realism into stories that are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always unnerving.

While the topics are extremely varied, one thing that binds them together is her portrayal of the characters. While they may be broken or flawed, they are always rather stoically represented but always with unyielding compassion. You feel like these may be people or locations you know or have seen before. Even the locations feel familiar, yet in her stories, anything is possible. 

I'll admit it was the cover that first caught my attention but I stayed for the inventive, surreal fantasy world that Julie Day presented in each story. Varied but with an undertow of common themes, Uncommon Miracles was a pleasure to read. 

Julie C. Day has published over thirty stories in magazines such as the Interzone, Podcastle, Black Static, and Split Lip Magazine. Her first collection is forthcoming from PS Publishing in October, 2018.

John Crowley describes her fiction as "strongly strange, whether happening in a sort of now in this country or in a weirdly altered past. These stories seem to be what the term American Gothic was meant for."

Julie holds an MFA in Creative Writing from USM's Stonecoast program and a M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Some of her favorite things include loose teas, standing desks and the tricolored prevost's squirrel.

You can find Julie on Twitter @thisjulieday or through her website: www.stillwingingit.com.