Which was why I was very happy to get my hands on Sisters, a short collection of tales that mostly deal with female protagonists. With the Knight name on the cover, I knew I was in for an entertaining ride, but I wasn’t fully prepared for the depth of the pieces.
The collection starts of with the story “Sister,” a haunting tale of two sisters residing in one body, fighting for control. The tale’s strength lies in its ambiguity, leaving it up to the reader to decide if it is madness or possession that drives the character’s actions. It starts the collection off with a bang, and lets the reader know the stories will be entertaining but also thought-provoking and emotionally resonant.
“Go Girls Rules!” is a story of three sisters, a former child-star team, who are trying to face down the demons of their past. The set up, complete with glimpses of the show the girls were on as children, is cute and engaging, but the story itself is unrelenting in its atmosphere of dark secrets and hidden pain. My only real complaint with this story is it feels like merely a fragment of a longer story; the ending is kind of abrupt and just promises more.
With “Toys in the Attic” Knight has given us his take on Flowers in the Attic, providing a rumination on neglect and child abuse that is painful and haunting.
For fans of the TV show I Survived, “I Am the Coyote, I Am the Snake” recounts the experience of a young girl abducted by a motorcycle gang and traded like property. It is a gut wrenching and harrowing tale, gripping and suspenseful. I do feel that the story could stand to be expanded.
“Dakota” is the masterpiece of the collection. A story of a young girl with a terminal disease…her fragility, her strength, and how her mother deals with this. The emotions of the story are palpable and at times overwhelming, completely making the reader feel what the characters feel. And the emotions come across as genuine, not overly manipulative or schmaltzy. Just honestly moving. Knight really knocked it out of the park with this story.
The collection closes with “A Night in the Blues,” a suspenseful tale of a young girl lost in the mountains, being stalked by wild life…and maybe more. This story will definitely keep readers on the edge of their seats, and there are a couple of action sequences that Knight handles deftly. However, this is another one that feels too compact for me, that could stand to be expanded, although I do appreciate the use of the inconclusive ending.
Overall, I think Knight has provided a collection that is satisfying and surprising. The tales are all entertaining and engaging, but also stories with real weight and purpose. These stories showcase a writer with a talent that can enthrall the reader while also moving him or her. I suspect anyone who reads this collection will immediately run out and find more books by Knight.