Muckross Abbey and Other Stories

Filipina American novelist Sabina Murray (The Human Zoo) offers 10 gothic-inspired literary gems in the collection Muckross Abbey and Other Stories. In "The Long Story," a stranded traveler spends the night in a cottage haunted by an artist who sacrificed himself to be a conduit for his art. But the ghosts of the past in Murray's stories aren't always so far from home: in "Harm," a young man who recently learned the truth of his parentage is drawn to a mysterious woman in the woods behind his house. Meanwhile, the new resident in "Apartment 4D" can't escape the eerie mother and daughter who live next door, nor can she shake the feeling that something isn't quite right about their relationship. In the titular "Muckross Abbey," a young woman reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of her college friend Simone, only to discover that only she can see the truth of what really happened.

All of Murray's stories succeed in capturing the skin-prickling, shiver-inducing atmosphere of the best gothic tales. Never beholden to gore or cheap thrills, each story is a puzzle box of gradual dread, keeping readers paralyzed with evocative, discerning prose. Murray consistently conjures genre tropes, only to subvert them in the service of more emotionally chilling revelations. Often unearthing the terror of the relationships that we cannot escape, the stories in Muckross Abbey will leave readers wondering what it is they, too, cannot bear to face. --Alice Martin, freelance writer and editor

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