Families Among Us is a daring book. It’s not just that Kimzey writes about kids (and adults) turning into animals or magical creatures, taking off their clothes and scurrying or flying into the wild. No, it's that each of these disquieting stories force the reader to experience familiar emotional realities with the wonder and surprise of a child. Kimzey's world is new and dangerous, even sobering, precisely because its strangeness drives us into the heart of the familiar, into childhood's loneliness and consuming anxiety.
This, I suspect, is just what Kimzey wants. Each story, even those told from the perspective of adults, affects a dream-like quality, though not necessarily one of nightmare. This mood is achieved though natural, unobtrusive, even quietly beautiful prose. The understated prose allows us to engage the fantastic without distraction. And it’s these surprises themselves which meet us again and again in Families Among Us and become the collection’s most immediate source of delight.
As with Kafka’s work, after living in these stories for a couple days, they get even stranger, and new layers emerge.You can read the rest of the review here. I can't thank Fiction Southeast or reviewer Joel Looper enough for these kind words!
And if you'd like to purchase the book, you can do so here. Thanks for reading!