Review: The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night, Jen Campbell

Jen Campbell Book 1

Autumn is upon us and nothing seems more apt than to settle down with this collection of magical short stories by masterful storyteller Jen Campbell (and a nice cup of green tea in my new favourite mug).

I read The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night on several train journeys, relishing the short and digestable aspect of the stories, as well as just how much I could take from so few words. Using her prose like poetry, Campbell weaves magical tales of animal hearts in human bodies, spirits in jam jars, and coffin hotels on isolated islands into a few pages at a time, and I loved diving into each story, headfirst and willing.

My favourite stories were Plum Pie. Zombie Green. Yellow Bee. Purple Monster., Aunt Libby’s Coffin Hotel and, of course, the titular The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night, but props has to go to the creepy Animals which starts off the collection and really sets the tone for the enchanting, mysterious and kind of creepy rest of the book.

Definitely recommended to all looking for an escape from the darkening nights.

Thank you to my friend at Hachette Publishing for this advance copy!

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