Don’t make momma angry.
This is a story about Miller and her estranged mother Sylvie. Things are not right between the two, especially after the death of Miller’s father. We feel a lot of tension in this relationship. It’s when Sylvie wants to make amends and reconnect, the story starts to take an ugly turn. Miller’s partner Florence expects danger and pleads with Miller not to give in. She does not want Miller to go on a trip planned by Sylvie. Sylvie wants to take Miller way up North, and you just know they’re going to get stuck in a major snowstorm.
This is setting up pure chaotic claustrophobia from the beginning. Sylvie is now living rent free inside Miller’s head.
Things quickly spiral out of control on this trip. And we start seeing the real Sylvie. On the surface she is a smothering mother not allowing Miller to grow up. She has an opinion on everything, and a lot of times makes underhanded comments not thinking she is saying anything wrong, or that it just came out wrong.
At times what seems like a mother just not wanting her lil’ girl to grow up, we get a glimpse there is something much harsher going on there. And the world of mental illness begins to show itself.
This story takes off from the get-go and does not let up. In fact, it does something that I know you’ve heard me mention before. It allows the dialogue to tell the story. I am a total sucker for when a dialogue tells the story. It just speeds up the pace, making it smooth, and it is allowing you to play out the scenarios in your head.
It’s a shorter novella, straight to the punch, and it delivers quick brutal jabs knocking out any air your lungs could possibly hold. Marceau perfectly paints a mother who seems to have some sort of trauma making her act the way she does.
And it is described in such a way, not only does it disorient Miller, but it may also disorient you.
At one point, when Miller walks into the cabin for the vacation, it felt like she was stepping into the Twilight Zone, quickly having flashbacks from yesteryear with the surrounds.
Don’t make mother angry. And don’t forget to breathe. The pace is super-fast thanks to the dialogue telling the story, you will forget to take a breath every now and then. What plays out is liable to give Annie Wilkes a run for her money.
THIS IS WHERE WE TALK THINGS OUT by Caitlin Marceau is a hard hitting, fast paced suffocating story showcasing the mental illness that can come from trauma, turning worlds upside down and tearing apart every relationship in its way.
Title: This is Where We Talk Things Out
Author: Caitlin Marceau
Publisher: DarkLit Press
Publication Date: September 21, 2022
Format Reviewed: Paperback