Skeleton Dance: A Book Review


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This short story was an absolute gem. C. Jai Ferry’s dark writing took us into a relationship that was more than dysfunctional. It was toxic. It told the tale of a teenager who had come to live with her eccentric, cruel grandmother. As you are probably aware good first lines and first paragraphs are something I look for in books and Ferry hooked me from the start with her opening line which read, “My Grandmother wanted to kill me.”

The struggle between the child and grandmother was expertly captured from the teenagers perspective. It put you in the place and in the middle of the conflicts over fried eggs, halloween costumes and ballet. The ending was unexpected.

The back story to this story was also included in the book and I enjoyed reading that almost as much as I enjoyed reading the story. I was not surprised it had won a competition first prize and that it has since been made into a play that has been performed. I’d love to buy a copy of that as I have to do a play reading at toastmasters and this I think would be perfect.

Would I recommend this book – I certainly would and I look forward to reading more of C. Jai Ferry’s collections of short stories.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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8 Responses to Skeleton Dance: A Book Review

  1. You have convinced me. I don’t usually read dark but if it is well done… I recently read C. Jai Ferry’s book of flash fiction, Unraveled, and it too was very good. I have some shopping to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Charli Mills says:

    Skeleton Dance knocked my socks off! C Jai Ferry is a talented writer and introduces us to the unsettling idea that monsters are in our own living rooms. Skeleton Dance was made into a film in Nebraska and you might be able to get a script from C Jai. I’m so glad you reviewed her novella!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. C. Jai Ferry says:

    Oh my gosh, I am blushing over here on the plains. Thank you so much for the kind words! I don’t know who was using me as a conduit to write Skeleton Dance on that day, but even these many years later I can remember the reeling emotions I felt when it was all done. I am just happy that I did the story some justice. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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