The Roots Have Dug Into My Heart by Peter Fugazzotto
This novella is about Jessie, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, back in her hometown in Northern California. This is a small farm town, near the bay and the marshes that whisper to Jessie. After her three year old daughter wanders away, during a morning hangover slumber, Jessie vows to do anything and give up everything to have her back. But can she? When her daughter is found, Jessie is relieved, but days later Maya still reeks of the fetid marsh. Jessie begins to wonder, is it her daughter, or something else. Something not of this world.
This is an excellent take on a changeling story, filled with lore, struggles between mothers and daughters, but among the darkest parts of the story, there is something else that takes root…love. Between the harsh things we say that we don’t always mean, to the depths of our souls we don’t want to know, Fugazzotto did an excellent job in this novella forcing the reader to face the ugly; figuratively and quite literally. This novella was a perfect length. I felt like I got everything out of this work without it being overly long and wordy. It got right to the point, the story dove right in. You hated Jessie but also rooted for her, which I think was exactly what the author wanted to accomplish. I look forward to reading more from this author.
The Weevil Dead