As you recall, I couldn’t even finish Swamplandia, though it absolutely seemed like a book I should love. So, I had my hesitations about Vampires in the Lemon Grove, which were borne out by the first couple of stories. I think the thing for me is that she’s an expert descriptive writer. Everything in her stories is so beautifully rendered. But it, to me, can feel a little soulless, like there’s no oomph for her in the story. And if there’s no oomph for her? There’s certainly none for me.
But about a third of the way into Vampires, something changes. And the stories are still beautiful, but they really start to get brilliant. And weird. For instance, there’s a story about eleven former Presidents of the United States who are reincarnated as horses. And a great story about Nebraska sod house settlers. And so on. It just gets really good.
Which is a relief, because that was about to be the third book in a row that I just couldn’t get into. I was starting to worry my fiction love had broken.