This is the second book I’ve read by Morgan Christie, and both have been quite brilliant. The first was an essay collection, Boolean Logic, and this was a short novella, but both touched on difficult, real topics.

About the Book

When fledgling writer Niya is expected to read the eulogy at her father’s funeral, she does not, cannot. In her grief, she seeks to reconcile the world she thought she knew with the history that now emerges- her parents’ declining marriage, her father’s mysterious medical troubles, her place in the family dynamic. All the while, Niya grapples with the “editorial deaths” she sees in her own written work.

In prose at once masterful and magical, Morgan Christie details the search for meaning in our closest relationships and underscores the surprising ways a sense of duty can lead to new depths of compassion and understanding.

My Thoughts

Liddle Deaths is one of those books that is hard to read, but I’m glad I experienced it. Losing a parent is so hard, and other people can commiserate, but they cannot understand unless they have experienced it as well. As a fellow only child, daughter, mother, and writer, I connected with our main character Niya (and her mother) in many ways. I lost my own mother almost exactly six years ago – the anniversary is very soon. So it was a good/bad time to read this.

The juxtaposition of Niya’s grief over her father with the “little deaths” of pieces of her manuscript as Hollywood works to turn it into a movie was so well done. The symbolism was clear as day and just beautiful. Further mirroring that with the “little deaths” of the ideas she had about herself and her family life made the story all that more impactful. There was just so much packed into this 133-page book. Sometimes you can say so much in just a few words.

I related to and enjoyed Niya’s character. I felt like she grew throughout the story as well. I saw a lot of myself in her, as I said. She had some different struggles, but I believe so many of us don’t see how much our parents struggle for us until something happens to point that out. Then, suddenly, it all makes sense and we’re grateful. Sometimes, it’s too late to tell them we get it, and sometimes we get the chance. This is a story about grief, family, duty, compassion, and understanding. It’s not a happy story, but it can be hopeful.

I’m so grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me on this tour, and I look forward to reading more by the author. Her writing just keeps getting more impressive and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Who’s It For?

If you’ve lost a parent, you will get this story. Also, if you have a complicated relationship with a parent, this story with resonate with you. If your relationship with your parents is perfect and they’re still around, it might interest you to see what the other side is like, but I’m not sure if you’ll get it – but learning about new experiences is always good in my opinion. If you enjoy family drama stories, this is a good one.

Content Warnings: Parental Death, Dysfunctional Family, Racism, Medical Discussions, Pregnancy, Childbirth

About the Author

Morgan Christie’s work has appeared in Callaloo, Room, Hawai’i Review, Sport Literate, and elsewhere. She is the author of four poetry chapbooks and her full-length short story collection ‘These Bodies’ (Tolsun Books, 2020) was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in fiction. She has been featured in Buzzfeed, Yahoo News, Poets&Writers, LA Weekly, London Post, Broadway World, the Forward Arts Foundation’s National Poetry Day exhibit, etc. Christie is the recipient of the 2022 Arc Poetry Poem of the Year Prize, 2022 Digging Chapbook Series Prize, 2023 Howling Bird Book Prize, and the 2023 silver National Magazine Award for Poetry. Christie is also the author of the essay collection ‘Boolean Logic’ (Howling Bird Press, 2023) and the novella ‘Liddle Deaths’ (Stillhouse Press, 2024).

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