As I am catching up on reviews, it surprised me to remember that I read this. And I read it just last month. That gives you immediate insight into the impression it made, which was weak.
I’ve gotten into short stories in the past few years, starting with T.C. Boyle and falling for the vocal recitations by LeVar Burton. I have read some great collections but this one for me was a dud. My experience seems to be similar to many on Goodreads which is that the stories have very interesting premises, I mean, the titular story Vampire in the Lemon Grove, is legitimately about vampires living in a lemon grove in Italy, struggling with the ennui of the undead, trying to use lemons to quench that unquenchable thirst, after discovering years into their vampire life that even drinking the blood does nothing at all. What a unique twist on the vampire myth! And then the story just kind of…ends.
Time and again, interesting ideas and characters just seem to fizzle. The same thing happened over and again wherein I would start reading a story and be compelled to tell my husband, “Ok, listen to this. I’m reading a story about (insert nonsensical bizarre idea)” with giddy glee, only later to be scratching my head as the story moreso wound down then properly ended. As I sit here, for the life of me I can only think of one other story in the collection, girls who are essentially turned into human silkworms. Again, FASCINATING, but it actually bores a bit in the middle.
I’d be interested to give more of her stories a try, the creativity and ideas are there, it just seems like Russell doesn’t quite know where she wants to end up.