Review of Black Flowers, Jesse Muchmore

Originally published on Reedsy Discovery.

There is no denying Muchmore can write, and write within a variety of genres. When I first began reading Black Flowers I was looking for something which moved through the poems and short stories; the religious allusions, the appearance of the devil and the evil of mankind. Yet, I soon realised it is Muchmore’s talent for writing and his imagination which weaves these pieces together.

Some stand out more than others; ‘To Kiss the Devil Goodnight’, ‘Woman’ and ‘Coda’, which all explore humanity, our choices and the chances we are given, what it means to live and how easily lives are cut short. Whilst ‘The Doorway in the Garden’, my personal favourite, is absolutely magical. It is a story which celebrates family and ethnic origins, as well as delicately handling a child’s struggle with death and grief. 

By the end, I wished Muchmore’s collection wouldn’t end. Each story was different, original and tackled a new angle of humanity and society. Thus, despite my reservations at the beginning, this collection grows in strength the further on you read; soon you become captivated by the real and other worlds Muchmore portrays, and wrapped up in his kaleidoscope of characters. It truly was a pleasure to read.

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