Elijah Keene is trying to get by after the untimely passing of his beloved wife Jess. Overwhelmed as a single father, failing as a farmer, coming up short as a son; he struggles to distance himself from his grief. Elijah soon discovers that an unspeakable horror has arisen from the land which his family cultivated for generations. An entity of which his own father and deceased mother may have been all too aware. Grief is a False God is a chilling novelette by Gemma Amor, featuring vibrant illustrations from Anibal Santos.
Gemma has a real talent for psychological horror. Nowhere is that better highlighted than in Grief is a False God. This novelette deals with a mother dealing with post-partum depression, the endless cycle that grief can become, and a demon who feeds on the sadness of the family it shares the land with.
This book is so astoundingly sad. I never expected bawling my fool eyes out to an illustrated short story, but…there you have it. I sure as shit did exactly that.
As someone for whom depression is a reality, and who has never been able to express grief in a healthy way (or any other emotions, really – I’m such a very mentally healthy person), this was a very reflective read for me. Although this monster is (presumably) not real, the impact of holding onto un-dealt with grief, and the impact of depression itself (although, for the record, I have no experience with post-partum depression) is very, very real, and can lead one down a very dark path. This story made me think about that, and how important it is for me to deal with my own mental health issues properly, and to let others know when I’m struggling.
About the Author:
I know I’ve highlighted Gemma’s work before here, but… I don’t care. I just love her writing so much.
Here’s her Goodreads bio:
I’m a horror fiction author, podcaster, artist and voice actor from Bristol, in the U.K.
I write for the wildly popular NoSleep Podcast and various other horror fiction audio dramas. I’m also writing, producing and acting in two shows, ‘Calling Darkness’, and ‘Whisper Ridge’, out in 2019. My first anthology of short stories, ‘Cruel Works of Nature’, was released in 2018, and my next book is the novella ‘Collection’.
I’m heavily influenced by classical literature, gothic romance and magic realism. I am most at home inside a dusty, rundown mansion or in front of a fire with a single malt and a dog-eared copy of anything by Angela Carter.
I’m open to collaborations in 2019- find me at @manylittlewords on Twitter and throw ideas at me.