The Fact of the Matter by Madeleine L’Engle

The Fact of the Matter by Madeleine L’Engle
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Horror
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

It was a frigid winter day when Old Mrs. Campbell stormed into the Franklins’ general store, decrying the devilish nature of her daughter-in-law-a sentiment that deeply disturbed Mrs. Franklin, considering the woman in question, Alicia, was oft described as “saintly” by everyone around her.

When she leaves the store in a huff, Mrs. Franklin thinks she’s done with Mrs. Campbell’s ravings for the day-until the woman calls her late in the night, urgently demanding to see her.
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Blending elements of fantasy and horror, what transpires between the two women over the course of the evening will test the boundaries of reason, faith, and family-and prove that, in times of great danger, even strangers can come together to help one another in need.

This short story stirs the imagination when it blends elements of the real with otherworldly possibilities. An older woman, Mrs. Campbell, rushes into Mrs. Franklin’s store making some wild claims about her daughter-in-law. Mrs. Franklin has her doubts, knowing the woman in question, who has a good reputation. She thinks she’s in the clear when Mrs. Campbell leaves.

But no…

Mrs. Campbell surprises Mrs. Franklin with a desperate call to meet her alone at night. Mrs. Franklin is hesitant to go to this stranger, and yet, something compels her to go. A series of strange occurrences takes place, making Mrs. Franklin rethink things.

Mystery weaves itself through this quick-paced story with twists. It’s a quick read and unpredictable. It could have readers thinking about themes of helping others and the true meaning of reason.


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