Book Rating: ★★★✰✰ (3.5 / 5 stars)
As Mia matures, her life changes. Her dad leaves. Boys grope her. And her stepfather pursues her. Her only friend is a ghostly white cat – who may as well be her protector. Can this cat protect her? Or will it come at a cost?
A creepy story with a dark twist, this tale left me shaken to my core – in both good and bad ways. First the good: the twist at the end of this short story left me both surprised and satisfied. It was exactly what I expected…but more. Mia finds her protection, and that in turn was the goal of the story.
Yet, this story needs a lot of content warnings. Murder, sexual assault, and other topics fill the pages. While I don’t consider myself a sensitive reader, this material could be very triggering. The way these topics were delivered served the right purpose: I felt uncomfortable, which very well might have been the authors goal.
Ultimately, I wasn’t a big fan of the writing style. I think the message could have been delivered better (or perhaps in more pages).
Yet, for a Dark Corners story, this definitely does it job of chilling the reader to the bones. If you do decide to pick it up, go in with this warning: it is not a story about a fluffy cat, but some much darker topics that may not be suitable for everyone.
What’s it about?
A girl comes of age with a vengeance—and help from a friend—in a tale of unnerving suspense from National Book Award winner and literary master Joyce Carol Oates.
Bad things have been happening since Mia began to mature. Her dad left. Boys at school can’t keep their hands to themselves. A lecherous stepfather has moved in. Her only refuge is an abandoned lot on her suburban cul-de-sac, crawling with feral felines—one of which follows Mia home. Ghostly white and affectionate, she is Mia’s new companion and—as Mia’s tormenters will soon discover—her fierce protector.
Joyce Carol Oates’s Miao Dao is part of Dark Corners, a collection of seven heart-stopping short stories by bestselling authors who give you so many new reasons to be afraid. Each story can be read in a single sitting. Or, if you have the nerve, you can listen all by yourself in the dark.