Zakk reviews Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley

The Eyes of Madness presents “A simple retro & remixed review from a simple reader…”

Zakk reviews Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley. 196 pages published by Shock Totem Publications.

“She steps in front of me and crouches until we’re eye level. ‘Don’t you ever apologize to me, get it? I’m your friend. I love you—real love—nothing like what he says love is.’ Her eyes burn, scorch. Fire rushing across oil. ‘I’d like to kill him.’

‘You wouldn’t!’

Black Mary is fierce. ‘I would. He knows it. Why doesn’t he leave an axe here, huh? Because he knows I’ll kill him one day. I’ll take that axe and swipe at his head when he isn’t looking. Or even when he is. Either way.'”


There is a place where sorrows pile up like snow and rest in your hair like cherry blossoms. Boys have wings, monsters fall in love, women fade into nothingness, and the bones of small children snap like twigs. Darkness will surely devour you–but it will be exquisitely lovely while doing so.

Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows is an ephemeral collection encompassing twenty-seven short tales full of devastation, death, longing, and the shining ribbon of hope that binds them all together.

“The community became aware that children don’t line up neatly like toy soldiers when you call them; they dart like rabbits through burrows. They fly like starlings through the air. They dance like wisps of paper in a flame and then they flutter away, pieces of darling ash, and they land where whimsy takes them.”

Beautiful sorrows is 27 little deaths, 27 moments of somber emotion and whimsical fantasy bowed up with a satin ribbon. Each of these tales is firmly connected to a heartstring and each pulls at a slightly different angle, with varying degrees of force, rupturing you in a multitude of ways

As you traipse through this challenging and magnificent landscape, this off balance terrain, I guarantee that you learn something about yourself, maybe just a little thing. Maybe something grander. Something you weren’t aware of that brings you to a smile, forces you feel, causes you to think, makes you hurt, makes you hurt, makes you fucking hurt.

But also maybe, just maybe, something to help you survive.

Just know going in to Beautiful Sorrows that this collection is like screaming on a roller coaster, but it is also the butterflies of anticipation. It’s meandering through the fun house and the fear of not finding the exit. It’s the spectacle of walking through the front gate and the emptiness of walking away after the lights have gone out. All you have to show for your journey is a red balloon tied to your wrist trying its best to float away. There are worlds going on between the words, universes amongst the bindings, they are all beautiful, in their own special way.

I’m sure that I haven’t done this collection justice. Pay your entry fee, your penance, and beware the midway.

-Black Mary
-The Boy Who Hangs the Stars
-The Quiet Place Where Your Body Grows
-Pixies Don’t Get Names
-Big Man Ben

These are the stories that still resonate with me. I’m not ashamed to say that Black Mary & The Quiet Place caused me to shed a tear in the dark, a quiet tear that I may not have shed if I were amongst my peers. If that were the case I would have tried to stay strong, it would have been a fight. I would love to read more from Mercedes but these wounds need to heal first.

“Azhar understood. He spent long hours sitting in the field where Sada’s beautiful face once rested. The wind, the wildflowers. How could a place of beauty survive such loss? Greenery growing over the horrors. Misery soaked up by grasses.

He took a picture one day. Of the meadow. Of the creek and the terrible Crying Trees. They were perfect on film. Places of peace. When Azhar saw the pictures, he was haunted by Sada, but he was the only one. Others thought they were beautiful. Others who didn’t know.”

Overall score: 5/ 5

Z-Dubbz is a big dumb animal!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. I enjoyed the collection as well


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