and Other Stories
Toni Mirosevich — 2022
After moving to a coastal town a gay couple is drawn to a group of outsiders living on the edge of the sea. In Spell Heaven, a linked story collection, a lesbian couple moves to a coast town and unexpectedly finds a sense of belonging with a group of outsiders. Stories include the tale of an undocumented boy's drowning when a wave pulls him out to sea, an ex–FBI agent’s surveillance of a man who leaves chocolate bars at a tree in a weekly ritual, a mother on meth who teaches a lesson on mercy, and Kite Man, who flies kites from a fishing pole and sells drugs on the side. His motto: When the kites fly, you can buy. The narrator of these stories, raised in a working-class Croatian American fishing family and immigrant community, chooses an early career in labor-oriented jobs. Years later, she finds herself in an academic position in a white-collar world “where the clothes are clean but the politics are dirty.” She questions her own stereotypes about her neighbors and gradually begins to question her life path. Spell Heaven celebrates those who are looking for a human connection in an increasingly isolated world.