I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Every Woman Knows This by Laurel Hightower
Published by Death Knell Press on March 3, 2023
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Short Stories (single author)
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
A never-ending storm rages, tossing a dark and bottomless sea. Tentacled beasts reach from every direction, a battle at every turn, but they've chosen the wrong target. Armed with teeth and sharp weapons of her own, she'll fight until there's nothing left, and then she'll pick herself up and fight again. For this is what we do.Laurel Hightower, author of Below and Crossroads, delivers the blow that shatters the glass ceiling into shards-twenty deadly fragments that reflect the horrors faced by women. Unwelcomed advances from dangerous men. The unbearable weight of motherhood. A goddess pushed to her limits. The inescapable responsibilities of being a caretaker, even beyond the grave.Dive in for Hightower's most beloved short stories, all brought together in one collection which includes five brand new tales. Navigate the stormy waters of womanhood with caution as you are about to experience the horrors, human and supernatural, that every woman knows.
Nothing makes me love horror more than when I’m reading a kick ass horror collection featuring some of the strongest, and yet frightening female main characters to ever grace the fictional page. Laurel Hightower opens the door hesitantly on your darkest nightmares. She knows the dark depravity that awaits you inside and yet she still welcomes you on a wicked laugh. It makes you nervous, each step full of trepidation and yet both curiosity and morbid fascination makes you put one foot in front of the other. Stories of womanhood with a particularly nasty bite – Serial Killers, of female exploitation, haunted books that tell the future and creature features alike.
The Bride Wore Black, Victorian era in its sense of storytelling is about a woman who goes back to her hometown after her Grandfather’s wake. Claudia is looking for something very special – a book, that is a mere haunting memory. Her parent’s tried to explain away its existence. When she finally sets her eyes on it again it paints a particularly bloody memory of her childhood and that things that transpired as a result of it. This was one of my favourite stories in the collection. The old time feel of it had me gripped and had a very Insidious undertone.
The Midwife, scared the crap out of me and in equal measure made me angry. Really, I shouldn’t be surprised that Laurel Hightower would write about the horrors of parenthood. This story was dystopian in nature, and I should’ve kept that firmly at the front of my mind instead of focussing so much on the heart-breaking nature. We all know that giving birth is hard, right? Right, imagine having to do it in relative silence in fear of a what I imagined as a reptilian midwife coming to steal away both yours and your babies screams? That first initial joyous moment of hearing your baby scream is both one of pure relief and happiness. Imagine having that stolen from you?
The Little Head, essentially a cautionary tale about what I took as being focussed on body dysmorphia. All women have been there, we’ve all looked in the mirror and not liked what we’ve seen at one point or another in our lives. What would our bodies say to us if they could talk? If they could let us know about the hurt they’ve inflicted upon them…food for thought.
Hooking Up, this was my favourite story mainly because I love a good serial killer story. A story of a killer with a deadly hook going from state to state is an urban legend we’re all familiar with but the spin on this story will shock you to your core.
All the words within Every Woman Knows This had such a profound effect on me that I immediately purchased a physical copy, I needed this one my shelf. It’s the kind of collection that punches you in the stomach with a veracious force. Embrace the darkness, you might just find a home there.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laurel Hightower grew up in Kentucky, attending college in California and Tennessee
before returning home to horse country, where she lives with her husband, son and two rescue animals, Yattering the cat (named for the Clive Barker short story) and Ladybug the adorable mutt. She definitely wants to see a picture of your dog, and often bonds with complete strangers over animal stories. A lifetime reader, she would raid her parents’ bookshelves from an early age, resulting in a number of awkward conversations about things like, “what does getting laid mean?” She loves discovering new favorite authors, and supporting the writing and reading community.
Laurel works as a paralegal in a mid-size firm, wrangling litigators by day and writing at night. A bourbon and beer girl, she’s a fan of horror movies and true life ghost stories. Whispers in the Dark is her first novel, though there are always more in the pipeline, and she loves researching anything horror related. She can usually be found working on the next project into the wee hours, sometimes as late as ten at night, as long as her toddler allows. Follow her on social media, even though she’s really bad at it, and she’ll follow you back. Plus you’ll be rewarded by pictures of cute dogs and kids.