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18 October 2022

Lucky Girl by M. Rickert Review!


Lucky Girl, How I Became A Horror Writer is a story told across Christmases, rooted in loneliness, horror, and the ever-lurking presence of Krampus written by World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Award-winning author M. Rickert.

“Smooth and ruthless, Lucky Girl is M. Rickert at her ice-cold best.”—Laird Barron

Ro, a struggling writer, knows all too well the pain and solitude that holiday festivities can awaken. When she meets four people at the local diner—all of them strangers and as lonely as Ro is—she invites them to an impromptu Christmas dinner. And when that party seems in danger of an early end, she suggests they each tell a ghost story. One that’s seasonally appropriate.

But Ro will come to learn that the horrors hidden in a Christmas tale—or one’s past—can never be tamed once unleashed.

Before earning her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Mary Rickert worked as kindergarten teacher, coffee shop barista, Disneyland balloon vendor and personnel assistant at Sequoia National Park. She now lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, a small city of candy shops and beautiful gardens.

She has published numerous short stories and two collections: Map of Dreams, which won the World Fantasy and Crawford Awards, and Holiday, which contains her World Fantasy Award winning short story, "Journey into the Kingdom." She also won a Shirley Jackson Award for her story, "The Corpse Painter's Masterpiece." The Memory Garden is her first novel.

My Thoughts

Lucky Girl by Mary Rickert is a short story just in time for Halloween. I am not sure why the title is called Lucky Girl, but maybe it is because she escaped death when her family was killed when she was young.

Backing up a bit, Roanoke, Ro for short, is the protagonist, she is an aspiring author. She is not fond of Christmas but when she is in a diner she meets five people, strikes up a conversation, and suggests that they get together for Christmas. They do and over subsequent Christmas get-togethers, we get to know more about Ro and her friends. 

There is mention of Krampus, a horned anthropomorphic creature that comes out at Christmas. His goal is to scare children that have misbehaved all year. He does this with Santa and they reward the good children and punish the bad children.

The six people that get together, exchange gifts with the caveat that they steal the gifts. Doesn't matter what it is as long as it is stolen. Plus they are all supposed to tell a horror story. Quite the party if you ask me.

I found the short story to be a bit discombobulated at first, but after a while it started to make some sense. I do love a good horror story and this one is right up there. I think if you are looking for a story that will appease the Halloween spirit in you, then go get this one. 

I give it 5 stars for the scare factor!

I received a copy of the book for review purposes only.

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