Blog Tour, Book Reviews

Book Review: Keep in a Cold Dark Place by Michael F Stewart

This book was reviewed via XPresso Blog Tours


We shape our own worst nightmares, and so we hold the key to their banishment. Sometimes the things we fear the most need never be feared at all. Stewart’s Keep in a Cold, Dark Place is a witty commentary on fear, and how we often let it get the better of us. Ignore your fears at your own peril, for ignored and neglected fears can turn into raging monsters that overtake your life.


Limpy lives in a rather provincial town, a village really, on a potato farm with her father and two brothers. Day in and day out, Limpy’s life revolves around potatoes, though as the youngest, she is still allowed to attend school. For now. But Limpy has bigger dreams than slaving on a farm the rest of her life. She wants to attend Hillcrest, on an art scholarship, and when we meet her, she is in the library working on her submission for the scholarship- a beautiful tapestry of the town.


Unbeknownst to Limpy, as her fears and frustration grow, they are being given shape and form. After being assigned the back-breaking work of shifting all the bagged potatoes from one side of the root cellar to the other as punishment for not being home in time to fix dinner, Limpy uncovers a box buried for who knows how long. Inside are beautiful jewel-coloured eggs, unlike anything Limpy has ever seen. And one is ready to hatch. Limpy’s new pet is the key to a curse, and the key to her salvation.


I devoured this book in a day. I love that a more unusual legend plays a part in this story. I won’t give it away, but I found it delightfully refreshing. I love finding stories that tap into the strange and unusual. This is a story about fear, and how we ourselves hold the key to taming ours. If we do not face them, and learn from them, our fears can overwhelm us. They can get us into trouble, they can paralyse us, and they can keep us from a full productive life, but kept in check, our fears can help us grow.


Each member of Limpy’s rather dysfunctional family (they keep an effigy of her mother, who died giving birth to her, in a separate room…) must enter the Underworld of the root cellar and face their Shadow, in the form of the mysterious eggs. Every person must face their own Shadow, the hidden parts of themselves, at some point or another. Every time we ignore our Shadows, we allow them to rampage through our lives. Meeting them face to face, we bring ourselves into greater harmony, and our Shadows stay in the background, present but sleeping, so long as they are acknowledged.


????? Highly recommended



Unrelated but for your listening pleasure

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