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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Fortune Teller and Other Short Works is a collection of stories by author Nanette L. Avery. Featuring more than thirty stories which vary from short flashes to fuller tales, this collection hangs on a common theme of mystery and intrigue, with strong female narration and a writing style which felt like the old classics of horror, for example Lovecraft or Poe. Some examples of tales from the collection include the morbidly entertaining ‘When The Magic Disappears’, about a couple going to extreme lengths to get out of a lackluster marriage, and the short, quirky, yet strikingly effective ‘Out West’, where a railway journey reveals a great deal about humanity’s attitude to nature, progress and towards one another.
Nanette L. Avery is a highly accomplished storyteller, and I was absolutely delighted to review this volume filled with numerous delightful gems. ‘The Fortune Teller’, the story for which the volume is named, was a particular favorite. I love to see common tropes like predictions and omens taken on, and all the assumptions and conventions of storytelling twisted around within them to create a new surprise. Some of the stories have an unfinished atmosphere about them, and I mean that in a highly complimentary spirit, much like the works of Raymond Carver for example. Avery knows very well how to hold her readers in a story and give them plenty to work with, but still leave those intriguing gaps that keep you returning and thinking long after you put the book down. The Fortune Teller and Other Short Works is a highly recommended read.