Bound Feet - by Kelsea Yu
I loved the start of this novella, Kelsea presents the legend of the hungry ghost-moon ghost as a simplistic story, to then go on into the novel properly. It was a jolt to the senses, and made the rest of the book feel – authentic – I guess? It felt grounded in that legend, so the use of that format worked for me.
Weighing in at only 100 pages, I have to say that Bound feet packs a lot into the space available. There are some things presented as twists in the storyline that I saw coming right from the beginning, but Kelsea also managed to throw a twist in that I hadn’t anticipated, which was great. I always like to have my assumptions blown away.
The book is set up with heavy emotional content, and I think that’s important to know right from the beginning. I can think that there are going to be some people triggered by the content, which is explored as a main theme in the book – the loss of a child through negligence (drowning) and the emotional impact that had on the main character's life and interactions with everyone from the moment it happened. It’s a dark topic, and Kelsea does wonderful justice to the guilt and feelings of self-loathing and repentance the MC goes through with every waking breath.
Not being one of those people that are easily triggered, I do have to say this introspection was so important to the character, that the book did hang on to that defining characteristic its entire length. It becomes the motivational force for the character's decision at the end of the book, which ties (almost too) neatly all of the disparate threads left hanging. To a degree, I wanted closure on those feelings, I wanted the MC to be happy, but I kind of also wanted to scream “Get over it! There’s a damn ghost to deal with!”
The description of the Ghost and how reality is warped by her presence were well done and atmospheric, and the punchline-twist the ghost revealed got me – I didn’t see that coming, though I realized at the same time as the MC, so good pacing on the delivery there, Kelsea.
Hard to believe the novella is so short, the emotional content so strong, and the imagery so potent in only 100 pages. I loved the brief glimpse into Chinese American lives Kelsea depicted here, and would love to read more. There's a market here I would love to read more about, Kelsea.
And the tradition of bound feet – that’s a horror story all by itself.
I’m giving this 4 out of 5 ⭐ ‘s, and my thanks go to both Kelsea and Mother Horror for the review copy.
You can buy Bound Feet by clicking on the appropriate Amazon link, below:
You can visit Kelsea's webpage, HERE
You can find Kelsea on Twitter, HERE
You can find Kelsea on Instagram, HERE