“Things We Lost In The Fire” is a shocking, dark collection of short stories

Things We Lost In The Fire” by Mariana Enríquez is a shocking collection of short stories that target the darker sides of the human psyche. These stories fall under the intense ruling of an Argentinian dictatorship – which played a huge part in the creation of this creepy, literary world.

Each short story talks about something that everyone has either experienced or witnessed firsthand. From failing relationships, poverty, drug abuse, self-harm, it seems like never ending violence. Except, these stories go deeper than reality. They twist and turn themselves into nightmares that pull the reader down with them.

things we lost in the fire
Mariana Enríquez

“Things we lost in the fire” takes place in Argentina and portrays the setting as a country filled with trauma, darkness, and loss. Mariana Enriquez doesn’t hold back with these exciting, yet terrifying collection of short stories.

We witness a young girl without an arm go into a haunted house and she never comes back, a boy who might’ve been sacrificed, a girl who chews off her fingernails. And in the title story, we are introduced to a movement of women who light themselves on fire to fight back against the world of men and dictatorships.

While the stories seem to stay on the brink of reality, they heavily dip into the magical world of everything horrifying. There are ghosts, drunk priests, hallucinations, and anything haunting related at every corner.

I’ve never read a collection of short stories like this before. I can full heartedly say that “Things We Lost In The Fire” is one of my top five favorite short story collections. I was attracted to each individual story because of how creepy they were. Argentina is freshly painted, but in a light that you can’t seem to run away from.

You can’t save yourself alone. That’s what Western culture proposes and we have internalized it and think it’s normal. But when faced with real horrors, we realize we’re totally powerless.

Mariana Enriquez in her interview with LitHub

This quote from Mariana Enríquez rings true. The characters can’t seem to save themselves or those around them. After a while, the reader seems to give up hope of wondering if the characters will ever win. They usually don’t.

But, there’s something real and raw about “Things we lost in the fire.” Enríquez brings out the violence against women in this collection of short stories through witchlike, creepy writing.

You can get lost in the dark world this book has created, and you might even look over the political themes within the text. Anyway you decide to read it, you will enjoy it.

Rating: 5/5

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