Channelling the likes of Alias Grace and The Unseeing, The Poison Thread tells a terrifying tale of confinement and madness. Dorothea Truelove, a perfectly saccharine name for the Victorian charity do-gooder, is a adherent to the study of phrenology. She visits Ruth Butterham, a teenaged seamstress, in Oakgate Prison and begins to suspect there is more to the girl’s story.
My friends and family will probably say, “What makes you not pick up a book?” It’s true — I am incredibly drawn to them. A whole world exists in such a small footprint. But there are a few things that make a book irresistible to me.
Lindsey Fitzharris gives us an unflinching look at the difficult, unsettling world of early medicine through the lens of Joseph Lister’s career. Here, a fierce but kindly man can be seen as a genius with a heart, not a cold figure to be dissected.
Within the pages of this collection, therefore, readers may consider “science fiction” to be loosely defined as tales of the fantastic that exclude the supernatural — no ghosts, no deities, no magic. What may sound like an arbitrary distinction actually demonstrates separate ways for regarding the cosmos.
Pulley creates details with such ease that the reader quickly accepts the ethereal beauty of the deep Andean forest. And she does so while keeping one foot in the reality of colonialism, missionaries, Victorian exploration and commerce. The reader will relish slowly absorbing the magic of The Bedlam Stacks.