Let me say straight out that I love Karen Russell’s use of language and her knack for creating these magical tales. St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is full of inventive and fun stories. Whether her characters are wrestling alligators or navigating giant conch shells or awkwardly watching women in Yeti costumes skate on ice with orangutans, it is easy to enjoy the imaginative images and play.
Initially, I loved this collection, but the further along I got into it, the more it became a chore to read. Yes, it’s whimsical and entertaining, but strip that away and there’s not much left. Most of the characters lack depth. The stories largely center around a similar moment of epiphany for our protagonists. And is it just me, but are most of these stories really about sex? (and if not, what does that say about me?) Frankly, I grew tired of the formula.
So I’d definitely read Karen Russell’s work again, but maybe something with a larger scope. I could’ve liked these stories had they been developed more, but as they stand, I thought they were just okay.