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Reviewed by E. M. Jenkinson for Readers' Favorite
Uncle Vernon by Jenny Twist is a haunting short tale reminiscent of classic ghost stories. The main character, Alison, spends a few nights in her boyfriend Gary's family home, where she encounters a ghoulish man after whom the book is named: Uncle Vernon. Having lost his soul after a shipwreck, Uncle Vernon is bent on finding it once more - and he's not about to give up just because it's difficult. Downplayed by the majority of Gary's family, no one appears to be overly alarmed by the man's appearance. To them, he's simply another part of their family.
Writing a short story is difficult. In fact, in many ways it's harder than writing a book. What a full length novel accomplishes in a few hundred pages, a short story must do with only a fraction of that. Fortunately, Jenny Twist's Uncle Vernon doesn't succumb to those shortcomings. While there's not enough time to really delve into the history of the characters or their individual personalities, Twist takes a few moments to let readers know the quirks of her cast. From Granny's strange and peculiar habits (which anyone with an aging family member has likely experienced) to Gary's brothers and sisters, Twist introduces readers briefly to realistic characters - and this is something I really enjoyed. I also love the way that Twist foreshadows coming events, which gives the story an eerie sort of feel. As a reader, I knew something was going to happen, but I didn't have much of an idea as to what. This kind of guessing is what makes a story worth reading and I'll be looking for more of Twist's work.