Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz [5/10]

In “Milk Blood Heat: Stories,” Dantiel Moniz offers eleven fervid, acutely observed tales set in the hot, strange world of Florida. Quotidian and shocking events share the platform, relationships morph and fester, hearts explore and break. In the title story, two teenage girls mess with notions of death until tragedy strikes. “Feast” puts us in the mind of a woman recently miscarried, unable to let go, at odds with her husband, a strongly imagined situation that brings back decades-old memories to me. The man at the heart of “The Loss of Heaven” heaves with conflicting emotions at the dying of his wife, until his world shifts. The grotesque “Exotics” short-short is predictable but sweetly penned. I doubt I can ever appreciate short stories as much as novels, but reading cohesive, evocative tales such as in Milk Blood Heat is surely beneficial.

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