Title: Southern Horror Stories
Author: Lisa W. Tetting
Print Length: 68 pages
Publication Date: October 26, 2017
Almost 400 years ago, the first enslaved Blacks arrived in the Virginia colony at Point Comfort on the James River. Spanish records suggest that the enslaved were captured in the Portuguese colony of Angola. At first, the number of enslaved taken was small. In about 1650, however, with the development of plantations on the newly colonized Caribbean Islands and American mainland, the trade grew.
But what if things had turned out differently? What if the enslaved could exact immediate vengeance on their oppressors and gain their freedom with help from their ancestors? That is essentially the theme connecting six short stories in Lisa W. Tetting’s short story collection, Southern Horror Stories.
Each story begins with a tragedy familiar to that of chattel slavery. In Barren Plantation, Pansy witnesses the death of her baby girl immediately after giving birth. Afterward, the woman bathes in the child’s blood, soaking up the energy, and begins to hear chanting in a foreign language. She becomes possessed and starts chanting along with the voices until an entity arrives to give her word on her next move. She is to save the other children on the plantation in a most chilling way.
In “Caleb’s Stitches,” children of the enslaved go missing. In “Mind of Hope,” a girl witnesses her mother’s beating death and her father’s shooting. Her ancestors instruct her on how to get revenge for her parents. And in Underground Hell Road, the slaves have overtaken the plantation in an intelligent plan to create a portal to freedom. All the stories involve the enslaved receiving guidance from their ancestors on how to strike back at those who hurt them.
I loved most the connection between the stories. Linking Barren Plantation and Caleb’s Stitches was brilliant and so was the connection between Slave Island and Pirates of Slavery. I would also love to see Underground Hell Road fleshed out into a full-length novel with elements of the other stories possibly weaved in. I love the idea of the plantation being a way for the slaves to transition their way to freedom and would love to read a full novel on the concept.
Southern Horror Stories is an easy and entertaining read that is not recommended for children (though with the author’s talent, I can easily see a PG version of the stories to help youth understand about the horrors of slavery). Lisa’s writing style is lovely and easy to understand.
Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5
Entertainment Factor: 5/5
Authenticity / Believable: 4/5
Thought Provoking: 5/5
2 thoughts on “Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – Southern Horror Stories by Lisa W. Tetting”
Reblogged this on Rebirth of Lisa and commented:
A huge Thank You to my girl EC for this AWESOME review of my short story collection Southern Horror Stories!
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