ARIADNE, I LOVE YOU by J. Ashley-Smith
RELEASE DATE: July 20, 2021
GENRE: Dark Fantasy / Horror
BOOK PAGE: https://meerkatpress.com/books/adriadne/
Jude is dragged out of Alt-Country obscurity, out of the dismal loop of booze and sadness baths and the boundless, insatiable loneliness, to scrub up and fly to Australia for a last, desperate comeback tour. Hardly worth getting out of bed for—and he wouldn’t, if it weren’t for Coreen.
But Coreen is dead. And, worse than that, she’s married. Jude’s swan-song tour becomes instead a terminal descent, into the sordid past, into the meaning hidden in forgotten songs, into Coreen’s madness diary, there to waken something far worse than her ghost.
A 4 star read
Ariadne, I Love You is one of those stories that will haunt you long after you’re done reading it. It is the story of Jude, a country musician, that never truly got his life together. He’s filled his life with music, booze, and the thought of Coreen; his friend’s wife. He idolizes Coreen and sees her in every woman he’s ever been with. When he gets asked to fly to Australia for a comeback tour he finds out the devastating truth: Coreen is dead. This news sends him spiraling into the past.
J. Ashley-Smith has a special talent for writing stories that not only will crush your heart, but also are poetic in nature. His prose is unique and will leave you floating in a dreamlike trance.
I’m not sure if Adriane, I Love You is truly a ghost story, or if we are simply following the story of an obsessed man. It could go either way, as Jude put Coreen on a pedestal his entire life, without ever truly getting to know her.
A big thanks to Meerkat Press for the review copy and letting me be part of this blog tour!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J. Ashley-Smith is a British–Australian writer of dark fiction and other materials. His short stories have twice won national competitions and been shortlisted seven times for Aurealis Awards, winning both Best Horror (Old Growth, 2017) and Best Fantasy (The Further Shore, 2018). His novella, The Attic Tragedy, was released by Meerkat Press in 2020 and has since been shortlisted for an Aurealis Award, an Australian Shadows Award, and a Shirley Jackson Award.
J. lives with his wife and two sons in the suburbs of North Canberra, gathering moth dust, tormented by the desolation of telegraph wires.
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