Book Review —Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories, (I listened to the audiobook)

Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another.

A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter— whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family’s church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road trip with their father’s ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them.

Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth, announcing the arrival of a bright new literary star.

via Dantiel W. Moniz and the publisher via https://www.dantielwmoniz.com/

“The stories in this book are rigorous and complex, lush and surprising. They are visceral, full of the intimate awe of existing in flesh. A wonder of a debut.”

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black

The stories in this book encapsulate girlhood and motherhood in a way that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There’s an element of darkness and realness to these stories. Being a girl, going through puberty, growing up, and going through motherhood is bloody, painful, and complex. Moniz captures the complexity of being a girl and woman in vibrant, lyrical, and visual ways. I loved these stories and recommend the audiobook so that you can hear the way the words play off each other.

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