I just need out of this town. This stupid fucking town. This brown and flat and sad town. This restless town. This home to ennui and melancholy. This scrub of buildings and people and emotions spilled in the middle of an apathetic landscape like hay from an overturned truck.
Restless Town is a collection of ten furry short stories from the fictional town of Sawtooth, Idaho, exploring the themes of identity, sexuality, and mental health.
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- The Fool - A student and a motherly badger explore questions of identity through a tarot reading.
- Disappearance - A weasel attempts to escape from her life in Sawtooth to Oregon, but finds her old life still tied to home.
- Fisher - A fisher walks and hunts for meaning.
- Centerpiece - A couple heads to a BDSM play party where the wife will be the Centerpiece for the whole party to enjoy. With fertility already on the mind, will another mink showing up throw a wrench in things?
- You’re Gone - A husband grieves the loss of his wife through instant messages.
- Overclassification - A chronically neat otter’s life is thrown into disarray when she takes a homeless ringtail in from the cold.
- Acts of Intent - A coyote burns meaning into the world around him.
- Every Angel is Terrifying - Derek MacIver struggles to hold his life together through the ups and downs of bipolar disorder.
- What Defines Us - Darren and his mother struggle with the rammifications of the past repeating itself.
- A Theory of Attachment - Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder is tough without a support network, so when Sélène’s changes, stress runs high.
Many stories contain frank descriptions of sensuality and sexuality; Centerpiece contains explicit decription of a BDSM party and some shaky negotiation; You’re Gone contains frank discussion of grief and death; Every Angel is Terrifying contains explicit description of depression, self-harm, and suicidality; What Defines Us contains mentions of abuse; A Theory of Attachment contains explicit description of mental health issues and a mention of abuse.
A glimpse at the inner turmoil cause by the modern world through a collection of unique characters exploring internal conflicts such as mental health, complex emotions, or the need for physical connection.
– Phosphor Wulf
Restless Town is an anthology about rebuilding. At its heart is grief, anxiety, and loss, and their intertwining with a life in transition. It’s a living heart, wrought into words.
It seems strange to call a book ‘gentle’ when it comes with content warnings, but this collection earns the title with a series of introspective pieces in which thoughts and feelings are slowly and carefully explored.
I expect that I will be carrying these stories in my heart and mind for quite some time. While not as heavy on anthropomorphic themes as some books I’ve read, the characters that drive these stories forward are all vibrant and fantastic. Restless Town gets a recommendation from me for anyone that wants to deeply examine emotions and understand the world from a different perspective. These stories have so much to offer, I look forward to reading more works from Madison Scott-Clary in the future!
- Cover by Julian Norwood.
- Print ISBN: 9781948743099
- Ebook ISBN: 9781948743105
- Audio ISBN: 9781948743136