Reviews of Dark Fiction

The Bone Mother by David Demchuk

I can sum this one up in two words: LOVED IT!

Told as a series of short stories, I adored the way THE BONE MOTHER was presented. Each tale was preceded by a photograph and I found that those photos gave a face to the characters in each vignette. 

The tales themselves were very dark. They all came together, (mostly), at the end, to tell a story of pure evil. Told from Ukranian/Romanian points of view, these characters named horrors that I admittedly know little about: The Holodomor, for instance. Easily over 3 million dead, yet most Americans I’ve met know nothing about it. Why? References to Kristallnacht, and other horrific events in history also appear, all of which add to the darkness of this volume.

In some ways, though, these tales do have a lighter side to them-isn’t it often the darkest of times that bring out the best in people? These characters sacrificed and loved each other, despite the often miserable lives and events they faced. In that way, this book SHINES. 

The writing was gorgeous and descriptive without being overly wordy. The presentation just blew me away. The photographs, the stories, the horror, the love and finally the darkness of it all-combined they make THE BONE MOTHER. 

My HIGHEST recommendation!

*I received this paperback from the author with no strings attached. I read it, loved it and here we are!*

The Bone Mother Book Cover The Bone Mother
David Demchuk
Dark Fiction, Folk Horror
Proving Ground Press



For two hundred years, the Grazyn porcelain factory built its reputation on its magnificent thimbles. It is said that even the Czarina Anastasia Romanova had received one in her trousseau. The workers come from the three neighboring villages on the border of Romania and Ukraine. Nourished, dressed and educated, they are the envy of all at a time when a famine programmed by Stalin sweeps the countryside and cannibalism rages from city to town to farm. But what is the secret of this factory and why does the Grazyn family protect its employees so scrupulously?

The Bone Mother revives the great figures of Slavic mythology on the eve of the Second World War, from rusalka and Baba Yaga--The Bone Mother herself--to the golem. The existence of mortals is intimately linked to that of witches and vampires, in a universe where strigois rub shoulders with mermaids, ghosts and seers...and all are in peril from the Nichni Politsiyi, the Night Police, which wish to eradicate them.

'A master of bowel-loosening terror' The Globe and Mail

'Demchuk gracefully pieces together a dark and shining mosaic of a story with unforgettable imagery and elegant, evocative prose.' Publishers Weekly (starred review)

'This is a book that bends genres, using the monsters of imagination as a back door to understanding the monsters of the real.' Nino Ricci Award-winning author

David Demchuk was born and raised in Winnipeg and now lives in Toronto. He has been writing for print, stage, digital and other media for nearly 40 years. The Bone Mother is his first novel.

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