An account of a relationship from shimmering start to shattered end, In the Dream House is a uniquely brilliant book. In a series of short pieces, Machado reflects on how things went so very wrong in her love affair with allusion, musing and witticisms which range from villainy, memory palace and pop-culture to aching isolation and fear. It is an added complication to be queer and unhappily attached in the time of marriage equality and (grudging) acceptance and it certainly added to the toxic mix of disbelief and slippage when Machado’s partner started to display abusive behaviours. The book winds back and forth, offering glimpses of domestic abuse and terror among the yearning and happiness. Its an absolutely superb bit of writing and I was entranced the whole way through. Machado’s previous book, a collection of short stories called Her Body and Other Parties gained much acclaim since its publication, and I’m sure In the Dream House will as well.
Serpent’s Tail 2020