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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Diabolical Plots #7, September 2015

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Diabolical Plots #7, September 2015



Reviewed by Colleen Chen

In “A Room for Lost Things,” by Chloe N. Clark, Rose is babysitting her nine-year-old niece Kelly when Kelly, in typical child-matter-of-fact-about-magic manner, reveals that there’s an otherworldly door that sometimes appears in her bedroom. Rose’s interest is piqued when she gets a glimpse of the door and hears music from beyond it, and in later babysitting visits she tries to discover more about it. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes before the mystery is solved, but Kelly continues to believe that the answer is to be found beyond the door.

Slow-paced and rather sweet, this story explores the relationship of a young woman to the last two members of her family. She’s suffered some loss, and her loneliness is sublimated through this exploration of a magical door where lost things can be found. The dialogue is somewhat stilted, and the writing has a young adult audience feel, but I enjoyed the subtle emotional depth of the story and the half-wistful, half-hopeful depiction of something beyond death.

Colleen Chen is the author of the novel Dysmorphic Kingdom and can be located at www.colleenchen.com.