Strange Horizons -- May 13, 2019

Thursday, 16 May 2019 06:21 Victoria Silverwolf

Strange Horizons, May 13, 2019

"Who Has Never Loved a Gentle House?" by Osahon Ize-Iyamu

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

The protagonist of "Who Has Never Loved a Gentle House?" by Nigerian writer Osahon Ize-Iyamu is a home abandoned by those who lived in it. It feels a desperate hunger for human inhabitants. Opposing it in its quest are crows and ravens, who taunt it and threaten to take it apart. At the end, it undergoes a strange transformation in its battle against its feathered enemies.

Despite a premise that could easily seem whimsical, almost cartoonish, this is a serious story, which never becomes ludicrous. The author creates striking images, particularly during the dramatic climax. The narration is, at times, wordy and overwritten. Some parts of the plot appear intended as social commentary, but are not entirely clear. This is particularly true of a scene depicting the birds working at a famine prevention center.

Victoria Silverwolf had to take several cats to the vet last week.