Song Pairing: “Forever Half Mast” by Lucy Dacus Listen Here / 2019 HELLO YELLOW REVIEWS PLAYLIST (Spotify) – Listen Here / 2019 HELLO YELLOW REVIEWS Playlist (Apple)
False Bingo is a short story collection written by one of my favorite indie authors. Jemc’s haunted house novel The Grip Of It was a spine-tingling descent into the vulnerability of relationships. I loved every single thoughtfully placed syllable in that novel. If you haven’t read it yet, do yourself that favor.
In False Bingo, Jemc’s deceptively simple stories transcend. In my favorite short, “Half Dollar,” two young girls play a terrible prank on a devastated widow by pretending they saw her husband’s ghost on the subway. Though one of the girl’s learns a valuable lesson about navigating trust, it’s the way Jemc describes the sorrowful widow that gives this story its elegance: “Before us stood a woman, not thin so much as empty of herself. She had been fuller at some point, and in the once-filled spaces, a lack coaxed our attention.” The writing is just peak art.
And the hits just keep on coming. A false account of a violent break-in awards one woman her freedom, but incites multiple false copycats throughout the neighborhood. A murderer details her methods of torturing males who waste her time. A daughter makes peace with her father’s death while learning he’s not really her father. And many more revelations of falsehoods, deceits, and as the title suggests, false bingos.
Life is incidental and accidental. And tragically revelatory when viewing the world through Jac Jemc’s lens. Visit her books soon, and visit them often.
Big thanks to NetGalley for the pre-pub copy in exchange for an honest review. I would have hassled them so hard if they denied me this, so really it was for their own good.