Starred PW Review: Seeds and Other Stories

Pflug’s excellent third story collection (after Harvesting the Moon) showcases her mature, rich, and immersive storytelling. The stories reflect Pflug’s characters’ resilience in the face of 27 disparate apocalypses, united by motifs of seeds and gardening and a striking juxtaposition of hyperrealism with delicate fantasy. Standouts include “Mother Down the Well,” in which a woman seeks to recover the mother she’s never met from the bottom of a mysterious well; the title story, about a lonely older woman who cares for younger people and plants in apocalyptic times; “Unsichtbarkeit,” about an invisibility spell and its impact on a love triangle; and “The Dark Lake,” a decadent examination of domesticity and magic. Pflug’s careful, detailed worldbuilding is beautiful and the recurring motifs of nature, portals to other worlds (“Mother Down the Well,” “The Lonely Planet Guide to Other Dimensions,” “Myrtle’s Marina”), and personal notebooks (“The Dark Lake,” “The Meaning of Yellow”) make the collection feel cohesive and powerful. Readers are sure to be wowed. (June)

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