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Stranger Things Happen - Kelly Link

                      Stranger Things Happen is an eerie, ghostly collection of stories by Kelly Link. The stories range from magical realism to the other wordly. My favourite stories from this collection are Travels With The Snow Queen, Vanishing Act, Water Off A Black Dog's Back, The Girl Detective and Survivor's Ball.
Travels with the Snow Queen featured my favourite Baz, the reindeer, who called a witch fat and was thus turned into an animal. I wonder if the talking white cat was also once human but I hope not. I've always imagined if my pets could talk they would call me out and speak awful truths. I loved the letter she penned to her ex boyfriend about why he dumped her.
Water Off a Black Dog's back was desolate with the question of choosing water or love. I love how she wove that question throughout the story. I feel Rachel's mother was causing her bad luck in the end to push poor Carroll away. The box with the dogs painted on them with red teeth was quite vivid imagery and when they ate his finger off.
Most of My Friend's Are Two-Thirds Water crept under my skin due to Jak's obession with blondes that resemble Sandy Duncan. My mother never dicussed my father very often but I did know he loathed Sandy Duncan. I felt a bit of a connection with him due to my shared dislike of that actress. I had to sit through her godawful performance of Peter Pan as a child and loathed ever since. I adore Peter Pan but not Sandy Duncan.
Vanishing Act was adorable and made magical realism work in a way Paul Auster could never quite manage for me. It reminded me of an old episode of Nickelodeon's "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" where the dorky cousin is forced to stay with the 90s-cool but so awkwardly dorky by today's standard bully but turned on its head. We only think we know where this story was headed. I felt alternating disgust and pity for poor Jennie Rose just as Hildy did. Her older brother James plight of not wanting to draft and smoking pot was pathetic and sad. He was such a teenager the way young kids view their siblings. Kelly Link always gets each character so right.