Women in Horror Month and the awesome sale for the month from Apex Book Company gave me the perfect opportunity to obtain Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters. I’ve been drooling over the collection since I finished another collection of hers, Sing Me Your Scars, and this one definitely did not disappoint.
The collection is one powerful story after another. The work sucked my emotions out of me, distilled them, then forced them back down my throat in concentrated form. They burned their way down and set my heart on fire over and over.
I’ve learned previously that Apex fiction needs time to breathe and work on my brain, but these pieces were so intense that I was needing a few days of light reading in between things before I had the emotional capacity to take on another.
Obviously it’s a 5 star read all the way around.
Oddly enough, the themes in the book reminded me of an article I read recently about using horror to deal with mental health issues.
And the stories definitely were pushing buttons both with my own mental health issues and sympathy buttons for other people. These themes include (at least in my perspective) abusive relationships, identity, parent-child relationships and loss, bullying, reactions to child abuse… So many powerful topics.
While I strongly recommend the collection, I also recommend approaching it with care in regards to your own mental health. If some of these topics are sensitive to you, make sure you are reading it at times when you are able to cope with those emotions and optionally have support available in case they hit you hard.
I don’t feel like I can talk in any detail about how different stories hit me without potentially spoiling them. Read them, brace yourself for the burn, and see what you think yourself.