counter create hit Milk Blood Heat - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Milk Blood Heat

Availability: Ready to download

Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another. A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter—whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family’s church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road-trip with their father’s ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them. Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth.


Compare

Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another. A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter—whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family’s church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road-trip with their father’s ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them. Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth.

30 review for Milk Blood Heat

  1. 5 out of 5

    Roxane

    I loved these stories and the many interesting people at the center of them. Moniz writes with incredible sharpness and precision, and there is an ache in so many of these stories. They all end without much resolution but it works. There is a real confidence in a writer saying, this is as much of the story as you need to know. This is as much of the story as I want to tell. Looking forward to seeing what she does next.

  2. 5 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    ‘Love requires a bareness, a certain pliability, and I didn’t thrill at the possibility of being transformed or wiped away.’ A family is a fragile thing, so entwined together yet caught in a tightrope act where one slip can wrench the all lives askew. In her utterly stunning debut collection of short stories, Milk Blood Heat, Dantiel W. Moniz performs her own feat of walking a riveting course of language through topics often difficult and dark while keeping the reader in luminous, rapt attention ‘Love requires a bareness, a certain pliability, and I didn’t thrill at the possibility of being transformed or wiped away.’ A family is a fragile thing, so entwined together yet caught in a tightrope act where one slip can wrench the all lives askew. In her utterly stunning debut collection of short stories, Milk Blood Heat, Dantiel W. Moniz performs her own feat of walking a riveting course of language through topics often difficult and dark while keeping the reader in luminous, rapt attention and emotion. Family dynamics thread through most of these stories, and the ways motherhood and self-searching can affect not only yourself but those around you. A woman miscarries a baby and imagines pieces of infants everywhere, mothers try to reconnect with their daughters or attempt to force their children to reconnect with one another, cousins grow distant and death shakes up all. These are the lives of everyday people in the Florida heat going through everyday tragedies, yet Moniz dissects the heart of each matter and renders their internal struggles so tangible and empathetic. It is also a wonderful look at Black realities written without the white gaze or without racial trauma being the sole purpose, which is something that should be encouraged in the publishing industry. These are stories that cut yet comfort in their disquiet, that look deep into the ties that bind us with others, all done as a beautiful and caring tribute to Black lives trying to get by. Moniz is a fresh talent with a world of promise. For a debut these stories each feel quite fine tuned and so polished you’ll feel them glow within you. Though tonally there are a few outliers, the collection as a whole shares a common theme of family and examines how it can alter based on what we let into it and what is inevitably expelled because of it. Pregnancy, affairs, grudges, illness and death all find their way to shake up the personal lives of these characters and Moniz positions you inside their struggles in a way that makes you empathetically experience their uncertainties, agonies and even face their mistakes. These characters all arrive at a moment in flux, trying to hold on to what is stable or normal as life sends a tremor of change, or as a narrator remarks, ‘the kind of quiet that gathers lightning’. Motherhood becomes a defining metric here, with pregnancy or relationship defining being centered around a mothers role in the story. In Necessary Bodies, Billie the narrator wonder ‘if motherhood was always that was--waiting for rest to find you, for parts of yourself to come back together’ after her mother remarks that she can finally sleep with both her daughters together in one place. Billie has recently discovered she is pregnant and unsure if that change from her easy marriage is wanted, or if she is even fit for the role. It isn’t until she can step outside her close relationships and speak openly about it to a distant former acquaintance that she can examine what her feelings truly are. Which speaks to the power of literature, and how it is through stories such as these where we can examine life outside ourselves in order to make sense of the lives we are living. But motherhood is not always easy, and relationships are often strained. The Heart of Our Enemies follows a mother trying to understand her daughter after her own affair has shattered the family and her daughter’s opinion of her. The story, which ends in a delicious revenge plot on a lecherous high school teacher, finds the daughter realizing ‘it’s her mother’s first time on this earth, too.’ We are all new humans bumping along trying to understand how best to live, making mistakes, hurting ourselves and others; even those who we think are the ones in control are experiencing this as well. Perhaps life is an endless lowgrade imposter syndrome vibe, I've never trusted people who act overly confident anyways. This collection really thrives on the moments when character’s discover what is beyond their control and how they react to it. ‘This was all it all felt,’ Billie wonders as she sees decisions being made for her, ‘like someone else had made a wish and sunk a penny into the deep of her.’ The Loss of Heaven, one of my favorites, follows an aging man dealing with his wife’s refusal to get chemo when her cancer returns. A proud man stuck in an unproductive image of masculinity, he is unable to confront his own emotions and let them show even when ‘the reality of her smacked into the room.’ His normally flawless demeanor begins to crack, with a montage of arguments with his wife bookended by two different trips to his favorite bar. The first being a cool customer as a perceived favorite by the attractive young bartender (he tips heavily--’all our communal loneliness appreciating into currency’ a similar bartender muses in a later story) and the latter when the drink and his overconfidence get the best of him resulting in a few toxic and embarrassing moments. The title story also deals with the fallout of a situation beyond an adolescent narrator’s control--a shocking and violent moment where the person she felt was the only one who truly understood her is lost forever. Or the mother who hallucinates the unfinished body parts of her miscarried child begins to outwardly react to her step-daughter. These are uncomfortable yet relatable moments where the characters must assess who they are, what they value, and how to regain stability in an unstable world. When a teenage girl is outcast from her church and thought to be corrupted by the Devil in Tongues, she learns to embrace her alienation and, with help from her brother, remembers that life and youthful troubles are fleeting. This gives her strength to seek the best revenge of living a good life where she can look back on the pastor who called her sinful for having pride and laugh at his toxic upkeep of patriarchy (the story makes comparisons to The Scarlet Letter being taught in her lit class which is forgiven for being a bit on-the-nose because it is executed so well). ‘She was of that special age where she knew both nothing and everything, and no matter where or at whom she looked, she saw her own reflection glimmering back like a skim of oil. She could be anyone, still.’ It is noteworthy that this is a book about Black lives where the white gaze does not seem purpose for the telling of each story. Far too often the whiteness of the publishing industry only deems a Black voice worth publishing if it has something to teach white people. While the lessons on anti-racism or confronting the everyday racism Black lives experience is a valuable and necessary voice, it is nice to see a Black voice with Black character’s given the space to live out everyday struggles where racism isn’t the focus, or where whiteness isn’t somewhere in proximity to the message. Not that this collection avoids racism, it comes up quite frequently in ways that effectively demonstrate how common microaggressions or racism is in every day life such as the white ticket seller at a museum who thanks the white couple but not the two Black friends, or when the white girlfriend in Thicker than Water (which is easily the best in the collection) drops hints to make sure the narrator knows ‘she is an ally.’ Aside from the first and final stories which address race relations head-on at times, the character’s here are given the space for their own personal issues to be heard and valued beyond ones of race trauma, though still a creeping reminder that racism permeates all of everyday life. Publishers, take note. Dantiel W. Moniz has given an extraordinary collection that really kickstarts 2021 books on a high note. This is a razor sharp collection where the highs are pure bliss and even the lesser stories are worthwhile achievements. The shortest, ‘Exotics’ may be a bit undercooked and less original than it intends, but it still delivers a powerful social punch. It is not easy reading however, and dips deep into darkness at times with many triggers along the way so be warned that issues of rape and violence are commonplace in the pages. It is well worth the journey though. These stories of family dynamics and troubles tugs at the heartstrings and makes us ponder along when a character wonders ‘how much love it takes to hate this much.’ 5/5 ‘We wrap a sheet around our shoulders and climb into the kitchen cabinet, where we pretend we are unborn, and we have always been together.’

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    I was glowing from the inside out—about how real the characters were in these stories.... I was also deeply sad ( but impressed), by how well the author articulated the conditions of stress and life. Our lives are in these stories.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    A visceral short story collection that focuses on the interior lives and interpersonal relationships of Black girls and women. My favorite stories in this collection, “Tongues” and “The Hearts of Our Enemies,” combined raw writing with developed character arcs. “Tongues” explores an older sister’s experience of misogyny in her church and broader community and how she tries to avenge herself while maintaining her relationship with her younger brother. “The Hearts of Our Enemies” captured a poigna A visceral short story collection that focuses on the interior lives and interpersonal relationships of Black girls and women. My favorite stories in this collection, “Tongues” and “The Hearts of Our Enemies,” combined raw writing with developed character arcs. “Tongues” explores an older sister’s experience of misogyny in her church and broader community and how she tries to avenge herself while maintaining her relationship with her younger brother. “The Hearts of Our Enemies” captured a poignant, caring yet sometimes acerbic mother daughter dynamic and the extent to which a mother will go to protect her child even when their relationship feels strained. The intensity of the prose in these two stories felt well-matched with the ways the characters grew and asserted themselves in the face of male exploitation and misogyny. The other stories in this collection gave powerful first impressions yet did not impress me as much. The remaining stories definitely made strong statements – about childhood sexual abuse and sibling relationships, about the angst and allyship of teenage girls angry at the world, about the drought of emotions that accompany a disappointing marriage, and more. I didn’t feel the same depth in the characters in most of these stories though, which may have more to do with the inherent shortness of short stories themselves more than Dantiel Motiz’s sometimes impressionistic writing style. Regardless, would recommend to those interested in a pretty dark, sometimes gruesome, yet still affecting short story collection.

  5. 5 out of 5

    luce

    3 ½ stars “She was of that special age where she knew both nothing and everything, and no matter where or at whom she looked, she saw her own reflecting glimmering back like a skim of oil. She could be anyone, still.” Milk Blood Heat is a promising debut, one that I'm sure will be well-received by readers who enjoy lyrical proses. While I personally found Moniz's style to be occasionally a bit too flowery and/or impressionistic (“she's Frankenstein's monster. She is vampire queen. She is newly t 3 ½ stars “She was of that special age where she knew both nothing and everything, and no matter where or at whom she looked, she saw her own reflecting glimmering back like a skim of oil. She could be anyone, still.” Milk Blood Heat is a promising debut, one that I'm sure will be well-received by readers who enjoy lyrical proses. While I personally found Moniz's style to be occasionally a bit too flowery and/or impressionistic (“she's Frankenstein's monster. She is vampire queen. She is newly thirteen, hollowed out and filled back up with venom and dust-cloud dreams” / “my mouth a black cave, ugly and squared” / “I want to swallow my mouth—to fold in my lips and chew until they burst” / “my body felt made of stars”), I was nevertheless absorbed by her rather mesmerising storytelling. Like most collections of short stories, some aren't as memorable or well-executed as others, but even in the stories that I didn't find particularly affecting there were moments or scenes that stood out (in a good way). Most of these stories seem to possess an ambiguous quality, offering little resolution or at times clarity on the characters' feelings and/or futures. With the exception of two stories, most seem to be centred on either a young girl or woman whose lives are about to change or are in the process of changing. In the first one, 'Milk Blood Heat', follows a young girl, Ava, who spends her days playing with her white best friend, Kiera and begins to question their differences: This year she's become obsessed with dualities, at looking at one thing in two ways. Although Ava's mother disapproves of Kiera and her wild ways, the two girls are inseparable, or they are until tragedy strikes. The second story, 'Feast', a woman is the deep thralls of depressions after having a miscarriage. She begins to resent her partner, as he seems not as affected by their loss. Moniz renders the uneasiness and sadness that have become backdrop to the woman's every thought and action, revealing how deeply her miscarriage has altered her state of being. Her grief, the disturbing visions she has, her numbness are hauntingly conveyed through Moniz's sharp yet poetic language (which in this instance worked perfectly with the kind of story she was telling). Most of the other stories explore similar themes (grief, identity, motherhood, friendship) without ever seeming repetitive. Two stories seem centred on a girl's passage from youth to adulthood, one that forces them reconsider their worldview and notions of good and bad (especially in terms of their sexuality), and each one gives us a different take on 'growing up'. My favourite stories were probably 'The Heart of Our Enemies' (which focuses on a fraught mother-daughter relationship) and 'Snow (in which a young woman is having second thoughts about her marriage). The two I liked the least were 'The Loss of Heaven' and 'Exotics' (which was short and employed a first-person plural perspective, 'we', that came across as an exercise for a creative writing class). Even if Moniz's prose was a bit too sticky and snappy at times (a la 'girls are daggers/my eyes are full of stars'), I still was able to appreciate the majority of her stories and I look forward to what she will write next. Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This is such a good debut collection of short stories. I especially liked the focus on girlhood and thought Moniz captures that particular time of life incredibly well – with all the inherent darkness a focus on girls can lead to. And dark these stories are – but I did not find them hopeless even if Moniz refuses to give her stories neat endings. I found this impeccably written, the metaphor heavy language a perfect fit for the format, and her characterization incredibly well-done. Some stories This is such a good debut collection of short stories. I especially liked the focus on girlhood and thought Moniz captures that particular time of life incredibly well – with all the inherent darkness a focus on girls can lead to. And dark these stories are – but I did not find them hopeless even if Moniz refuses to give her stories neat endings. I found this impeccably written, the metaphor heavy language a perfect fit for the format, and her characterization incredibly well-done. Some stories veered too much into darkness for me (I did not love “Tongues” and thought “Exotics” wasn’t half as clever as it should have been), but others were near pitch perfect (the collection starts incredibly strong with “Milk Blood Heat” which broke my heart but in a good way; “Thicker Than Water” with its examination of sibling relationships, guilt and grief was my favourite). Content warning: rape, child sexual abuse, miscarriage, abortion, cannibalism, suicide, suicidal ideation, grief induced hallucinations I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    marta the book slayer

    3.8/5 The more I reflect on the short stories I read, the more I realize the lasting impact they had. For example, I was posed with a question as to whether a person's actions determine who they are to someone. In one of the short stories a woman goes on a road trip with her brother to spread the ashes of their father. The sibling's strained relationship along with the presence of her brother's girlfriend, brings to past actions that weren't addressed prior. The dark twist in each story elevated 3.8/5 The more I reflect on the short stories I read, the more I realize the lasting impact they had. For example, I was posed with a question as to whether a person's actions determine who they are to someone. In one of the short stories a woman goes on a road trip with her brother to spread the ashes of their father. The sibling's strained relationship along with the presence of her brother's girlfriend, brings to past actions that weren't addressed prior. The dark twist in each story elevated the complexity. Ultimately upon finishing each story, I was left with a feeling that some dark thoughts are universal. These stories were brutally honest; although I was sometimes repulsed by the thoughts, I realize it was necessary to a realistic story. I wasn't sure what to expect before reading this, so I'll keep my review short and brief - give this a chance because this book leaves an impact. ∙ part of race against time challenge (aka read all 2021 releases before the year ends.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Short story collections can be so hit and miss. I find short stories to be harder to get into because they don't always lay down a good foundation to get invested. Sometimes by the time you get invested in the story it's over. For me Milk Blood Heat had some good stories that resonated and some stories that just didn't catch my attention. There were some where the descriptions could be quite gruesome. One story that stood out to me "Feast" details a married woman's struggle after a miscarriage w Short story collections can be so hit and miss. I find short stories to be harder to get into because they don't always lay down a good foundation to get invested. Sometimes by the time you get invested in the story it's over. For me Milk Blood Heat had some good stories that resonated and some stories that just didn't catch my attention. There were some where the descriptions could be quite gruesome. One story that stood out to me "Feast" details a married woman's struggle after a miscarriage while her husband wants her to get over it. This one had the right amount of descriptions and raw emotion. Over all this collection is an easy listen on audiobook though I recommend not listening to it back to back and instead taking time to really let some of the stories sink in.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lupita Reads

    “Ava knows she really is a monster, or at least she feels like one: unnatural and unfamiliar in her body. Before thirteen, she hadn’t realized empty was a thing you could carry. But who put it there? Sometimes she wonders if she will ever be rid of it, and other times she never wants to give it back. It is a thing she owns.” I have kept quiet about this book. I read it in September of last year and it hit me so hard I clung to it hoping I could keep it a secret. That sounds strange. But there ar “Ava knows she really is a monster, or at least she feels like one: unnatural and unfamiliar in her body. Before thirteen, she hadn’t realized empty was a thing you could carry. But who put it there? Sometimes she wonders if she will ever be rid of it, and other times she never wants to give it back. It is a thing she owns.” I have kept quiet about this book. I read it in September of last year and it hit me so hard I clung to it hoping I could keep it a secret. That sounds strange. But there are things about these stories and characters I felt deeply connected to. The light and dark of them. The centering of the grief or trauma each character carries explored and vibrating throughout each story; not like a burden but more so like a thing of curiosity to pick up twist around and look at in the sunlight. Since September I've reread a few stories here and there thinking about how I'll write about this collection. With its pub day approaching I still selfishly wish I had more "alone" time with these stories. Free of whatever else I'll read about them from other readers or book critics. Here's what I can say about the collection. There's something about the subtle but arresting descriptive lines like "I had two hands held out, waiting to receive my due.", followed by a thing that is heavy, in this case/story a character lamenting the requests and urgencies of a family and friends to become a mother only to miscarry. It's moments like this sprinkled through this collection that makes it near impossible not to see yourself as a witness in a room to these stories and characters. I guess in posting this, it means I'm ready to let the collection go? Nah, I don't think so. I don't think I'll let it go for a while but I am coming around to being excited for everyone to read it and I'll be hosting a giveaway to get me there this Friday. Thank you @groveatlantic for sending me an advance copy of this collection!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    Yoooooooo!!!!!! These stories are 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz is an interesting shot story collection covering difficult situations. Family, friends, loss, grief, infertility, pregnancy, and race are all discussed. The stories flow seamlessly from one to the next. I was very invested in all of these stories and couldn’t put the book down. Moniz writes with so much emotion that really drew me to the characters. It was difficult to read what these characters were going through, but their stories are important and impactful Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz is an interesting shot story collection covering difficult situations. Family, friends, loss, grief, infertility, pregnancy, and race are all discussed. The stories flow seamlessly from one to the next. I was very invested in all of these stories and couldn’t put the book down. Moniz writes with so much emotion that really drew me to the characters. It was difficult to read what these characters were going through, but their stories are important and impactful. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Machelle Williams and her narration really added to the story. I recommend Milk Blood Heat for fans of impactful short story collections. Thank you Libro.fm, NetGalley, High Bridge Audio, and Grove Atlantic. Full Review Coming Soon: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com/

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meike

    A strong debut collection of eleven short stories, set in Florida and mostly centering on female characters in different stages of life. While the protagonists and vignettes depicted are immersive, Moniz does not employ a traditional structure - the majority of texts just ends, thus framing the texts as snapshots of female lives that (appear as if they) do not follow a script, but are transformative. The singular occurences dive deep into the human psyche and its complexities, and while the subj A strong debut collection of eleven short stories, set in Florida and mostly centering on female characters in different stages of life. While the protagonists and vignettes depicted are immersive, Moniz does not employ a traditional structure - the majority of texts just ends, thus framing the texts as snapshots of female lives that (appear as if they) do not follow a script, but are transformative. The singular occurences dive deep into the human psyche and its complexities, and while the subject matters are often dark, it still remains fun to jump into these rabbit holes. I hope we'll be able to read a novel by Moniz soon.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    My mind never stops. It’s always racing, my thoughts competing with one another like world-class, Olympic-level sprinters. Admittedly it’s benefited me in many ways; but truth be told I’d rather have fewer participants. Better still, if it were up to me one thought would rise to the top – a dominant champion not unlike Usain Bolt – and strike so much fear into its fellow contestants they’d cower to the wayside. Problem is, streamlining my brain is seemingly an all but impossible endeavor. It’s o My mind never stops. It’s always racing, my thoughts competing with one another like world-class, Olympic-level sprinters. Admittedly it’s benefited me in many ways; but truth be told I’d rather have fewer participants. Better still, if it were up to me one thought would rise to the top – a dominant champion not unlike Usain Bolt – and strike so much fear into its fellow contestants they’d cower to the wayside. Problem is, streamlining my brain is seemingly an all but impossible endeavor. It’s one of the more frequently covered topics in my weekly therapy sessions; in fact, such tangential thinking helped inspire one of my favorite reviews of one of my favorite books of last year. That’s why, per said therapist’s advice, I choose instead to focus on the present moment rather than several moments, regardless of where they are in time. Suffice to say, it’s a work in progress and will likely continue to be for, well, ummmm, what were we talking about? All kidding aside, we can only control so much. It’s a frustrating reality, for who wouldn’t want absolute power over their every thought? It would certainly make things easier. But would it make things any better? In some cases, sure. But ironically enough, the stuff that keeps me up at night are those things out of my control. Disease. Race. The past. Weather. How other people think and feel. Whether or not my daughter will get made fun of for her – our – last name. Amidst situations out of our control, do we react differently when faced with adversity? I’m of the opinion that we do, or at the very least a great number of us. Oftentimes we let our emotions speak for us, eschewing rationality for reaction. Other times we take these moments for granted, whether good and/or bad; you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life. And then there are the matters of which family are involved (keep all Urkel jokes to yourself, please), which I’d argue are inherently uncontrollable. After all, we don’t pre-select our families; we all but inherit their strengths and flaws. Moreover, we shoulder burdens not meant for our own – until they become so. Stripped to their very cores, the characters throughout Dantiel W. Montiz’s astonishing debut, Milk Blood Heat are naked, vulnerable, helpless and hopeless. They’re on the receiving end of challenges massive and minute, palpable and intangible. They desire the ability to control these uncontrollable circumstances, to gain some semblance of permanence. Yet the environments and situations in which Montiz places her characters across the eleven stories within her collection offer little more than instabilities and inevitabilities. Her dynamic titular story sets this tone from the onset, positing two teenage best friends – Ava, who is black; Kiera, who is white – who frequently imagine their impending (and inexorable) deaths in a variety of ways. Their curiosity is both precious and unnerving, as well as the respective settings in which they are raised; it’s difficult not to sense something is amiss or well on its way to being so. The results are staggering, breathtaking. If you’re nearly as impacted as I were, you’ll find yourself recollecting your wits and contemplating a proper time to move on. Personally, I only waited a few minutes, for I was too excited to see what other treasures Montiz held up her sleeve. Needless to say, the writer must have some deep sleeves – are there such a thing? – as what followed only continued to impress (and depress). “Feast” offers a woman who has recently suffered a miscarriage struggling to reconnect with both her husband and the child he has from a previous relationship. “Tongues” describes a young girl’s resistance of her family’s churchgoing ways; she “makes Lucifer a mantra” and is soon left home on Sundays. What’s more, it leads her baby brother to believe she’s possessed; he intimates as much to his school friends and soon word is spread of the girl’s devilish ways. “The Loss of Heaven” features a proud, middle-aged man coming to grips with his ill wife’s refusal to receive chemo after her cancer has returned. His inability to change her mind propels him to find control elsewhere, in the form of a local bar where’s become friendly with the bartender. “The Hearts of our Enemies” pits a mother (separated from her husband) and her teenage daughter (who wants nothing to do with either of them, especially her Mom). Upon discovering her child is having an affair with an older teacher, the mother struggles with how to take control – or something resembling control – of the situation. It hardly stops there. In subsequent offerings Montiz continues her familial theme (“Outside the Raft,” “An Almanac of Bones,” “Thicker Than Water,” the collection’s high point IMO) alongside topics ranging from loss, to race/culture, to social consciousness, to betrayal (and more). Indeed, it’s a lot to digest, yet never feels haphazard or overcooked; Montiz too has a racing mind, yet one she seemingly has complete control over. Although, as suggested through the lens of her protagonist in the exquisite “Necessary Bodies,” perhaps the writer is more like yours truly than I’d immediately postulated: “She was thinking a million things, some of which had plagued her even before she’d found out: What if the state floods; we reelect that terrible man; if I’m bad at it; I do it and then decide I don’t want to do it; if I don’t do it and miss it; what if someone shoots me in the grocery store, the movie theater, my own home; what about the revisionist histories taught in schools; what if I’m not self-sacrificing enough; if I’m too self-sacrificing; if me and Liam get divorced, shit happens; what if the kid hates me; if I’m cruel; if I really really love it and lose it; if none of this can be sustained, not our love or our planet? What if, in the end, we just dye the ocean and wish it well?” I had to reread this passage a few times despite it deeply resonating after the first pass, for it seemed as if Montiz had invaded my thoughts as though they were the beaches of Normandy. But that’s simply the gift of great writing, indelible storytelling, and an innate ability to develop fully formed characters more layered than an onion. To gain any semblance of order in a mind filled with endless, amazing ideas is nothing short of a miracle. With Milk Blood Heat, Dantiel W. Montiz has provided eleven.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    Milk Blood Heat is a stunning collection of short stories. I felt such a strong connection to this book and it's one I can see myself not only rereading, but thinking about for a very long time. The emotions expressed in these short stories are so gripping, so raw. I was on a journey with each character, completely absorbed. These stories did not conclude in a pretty package tied with a bow. Instead they left me thinking, reflecting on what I just read. Each story with a well constructed ending b Milk Blood Heat is a stunning collection of short stories. I felt such a strong connection to this book and it's one I can see myself not only rereading, but thinking about for a very long time. The emotions expressed in these short stories are so gripping, so raw. I was on a journey with each character, completely absorbed. These stories did not conclude in a pretty package tied with a bow. Instead they left me thinking, reflecting on what I just read. Each story with a well constructed ending but perhaps not one the reader was expecting. All in all, I recommend this thought provoking short story collection. I can't wait to see what's next for Moniz! Huge thank you to PGC Books and Grove Atlantic for my copy!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paris (parisperusing)

    Dantiel is one to watch, for sure. Rtc!

  16. 5 out of 5

    T Madden

    "I could vanish follow the wet summery air down an unfamiliar highway, and try to escape the little legs dancing on my kitchen counter or lungs the size of kidney beans wheezing from the nightstand. I imagine cracked earth; giant saguaro; the hot air drying the farther west I ride and the sun sinking red. Out there, I would track vipers through the bleached sand and lie beneath the moon’s cool regard, my belly full and swaying with meat. The coyotes would sing my lullaby." THESE SENTENCES!!!!! A "I could vanish follow the wet summery air down an unfamiliar highway, and try to escape the little legs dancing on my kitchen counter or lungs the size of kidney beans wheezing from the nightstand. I imagine cracked earth; giant saguaro; the hot air drying the farther west I ride and the sun sinking red. Out there, I would track vipers through the bleached sand and lie beneath the moon’s cool regard, my belly full and swaying with meat. The coyotes would sing my lullaby." THESE SENTENCES!!!!! A collection for the ages, incandescent and seething. Equal parts grief, violence, and want, you’ll be glad for this jagged awakening.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Such a stunning short story collection. Dantiel W. Moniz's writing style is so lyrical, witty, and deeply emotional. The title story was my favorite. It made me tear up. About 2 teenage best friends who feel alone in the world. "Tongues", "The Loss of Heaven", "The Hearts of Our Enemies", "Necessary Bodies", and "Thicker than Water" were also the gems of this collection. Honestly, I enjoyed all 11 stories. This book was hard-hitting which is important when it comes to short stories. They should Such a stunning short story collection. Dantiel W. Moniz's writing style is so lyrical, witty, and deeply emotional. The title story was my favorite. It made me tear up. About 2 teenage best friends who feel alone in the world. "Tongues", "The Loss of Heaven", "The Hearts of Our Enemies", "Necessary Bodies", and "Thicker than Water" were also the gems of this collection. Honestly, I enjoyed all 11 stories. This book was hard-hitting which is important when it comes to short stories. They should be memorable and make an impact. Some of the subject matter might be triggering for some, including: suicide, miscarriage, sexual and physical abuse, cancer, and drug use. All the stories take place in sunny Florida, and include multi-racial characters. I'm so glad I got an opportunity to read this. Highly recommended! Thank you, Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for the digital ARC.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Will

    4.5 ”You learn to be who you are, or you die as someone else. It’s simple.” Dantiel W. Moniz has written an impressive debut, a collection of short stories focusing on young girls and women struggling to learn who they are, often deciphering meaning from the past while confronting the present. Her characters feel alive, inciteful. A psychological depth is revealed as she slowly peals back the layers. The prose is also to be admired - clear and strong. It flows easily while it simmers beneath the s 4.5 ”You learn to be who you are, or you die as someone else. It’s simple.” Dantiel W. Moniz has written an impressive debut, a collection of short stories focusing on young girls and women struggling to learn who they are, often deciphering meaning from the past while confronting the present. Her characters feel alive, inciteful. A psychological depth is revealed as she slowly peals back the layers. The prose is also to be admired - clear and strong. It flows easily while it simmers beneath the surface. Reviews so far have been glowing, the collection deserving of the praise received. Moniz is one to watch.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Darryl Suite

    Despite a couple stories near the end that didn't feel as strong or focused, I found this to be an outstanding collection. Most of the stories grab your full attention right from the start. Sometimes it feels like the state of Florida is the protagonist, and all the characters are merely the supporting cast. That's partly what makes this feel like such a cohesive and successful collection, for the most part. The first story really hit hard and although I don't think any other story quite lives u Despite a couple stories near the end that didn't feel as strong or focused, I found this to be an outstanding collection. Most of the stories grab your full attention right from the start. Sometimes it feels like the state of Florida is the protagonist, and all the characters are merely the supporting cast. That's partly what makes this feel like such a cohesive and successful collection, for the most part. The first story really hit hard and although I don't think any other story quite lives up to the momentum of that particular story, they sure do come close. I need more.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    What is going on with short stories in 2021?!?! Every short story collection I read is better than the next. I honestly don’t think it’s possible for anything to be better than this haunting and beautiful collection of jewels but I’m quite willing to be proven wrong. Short fiction ftw.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    In its way, this collection of short stories reminded me of Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street. That book's vignettes had a few men and boys, sure, but it was all about the women, heart and soul. Thus, "A Las Mujeres" (For the Women) -- the dedication you see before reading Cisneros' first vignette -- might be at home on a dedication page of Moniz's Milk Blood Heat as well. There are short stories with very young girls coming of age too soon by listening to adults and forming their own se In its way, this collection of short stories reminded me of Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street. That book's vignettes had a few men and boys, sure, but it was all about the women, heart and soul. Thus, "A Las Mujeres" (For the Women) -- the dedication you see before reading Cisneros' first vignette -- might be at home on a dedication page of Moniz's Milk Blood Heat as well. There are short stories with very young girls coming of age too soon by listening to adults and forming their own secret worlds, sometimes with dire results. There are stories with women stuck in relationships, stories of women dealing with pregnancy, stories of women trying to rectify broken relationships with their brothers. Often the character lighting the way is another woman. Even in a story like "Snow" where the married protagonist bartender (female) is enamored of a waiter (male) she works with, it is a stranger walking into the bar (another female) who steals the climactic moment and offers some semblance of wisdom to consider. If you haven't read a lot of women authors, a book like this is good medicine. Some women authors focus on strong men, but Moniz is all about strong women, age 9 to grandmotherly 70-somethings. Me, growing up in a family of brothers and no sisters, I learn a lot from writing like this. Unlike adult men, most women hold onto friendships as strong as when they were kids and, like a rock, it's there when they need it. Good variety, good writing, little repetition in themes. Enjoyable, then.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daina (Dai2DaiReader)

    This book of short stories is absolutely AMAZING! On the surface, these stories are about mother/daughter relationships, friendship, race, loss, depression and suicide (CW). But, these stories are about so much more than that … I just don’t know how to effectively put it into words. One of the stories in this book titled “Monsters” absolutely wrecked me. Another story titled “An Almanac of Bones” has some really great quotes. Each story is so beautiful and complex, all for different reasons. I a This book of short stories is absolutely AMAZING! On the surface, these stories are about mother/daughter relationships, friendship, race, loss, depression and suicide (CW). But, these stories are about so much more than that … I just don’t know how to effectively put it into words. One of the stories in this book titled “Monsters” absolutely wrecked me. Another story titled “An Almanac of Bones” has some really great quotes. Each story is so beautiful and complex, all for different reasons. I actually slowed down the speed of the audio just so I could savor and absorb every word. I also promptly went and pre-ordered a copy of this debut novel. Thank you NetGalley and HighBridge Audio for providing me with an audio ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    I think only two stories did it for me, the others were so meh. Some stories I felt the author was trying too hard but that could be me. I will say I loved how the author explored relationships, especially the young couple who married too young and was navigating life. I don't know....overall this did not work for me. I think only two stories did it for me, the others were so meh. Some stories I felt the author was trying too hard but that could be me. I will say I loved how the author explored relationships, especially the young couple who married too young and was navigating life. I don't know....overall this did not work for me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jami

    Loved this book a lot. The freshest of voices.

  25. 5 out of 5

    niri

    this was lovely. felt sort of languid but sharp. very excited to see what the author does next. thank you to edelweiss+ & the publishers for the arc.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    Milk Blood Heat is a stunning story collection by Dantiel W. Moniz. The stories are set in the 'burbs and cities of Florida, most feature young women coming face to face with a difficult choice in their lives. The characters are dealing with racial differences, loss, miscarriage, religious zealotry, sex/power dynamics and more. The stories all expose a truth about our world. I loved the writing and will definitely keep my eye out for more from this author She definitely packs a punch with a sly Milk Blood Heat is a stunning story collection by Dantiel W. Moniz. The stories are set in the 'burbs and cities of Florida, most feature young women coming face to face with a difficult choice in their lives. The characters are dealing with racial differences, loss, miscarriage, religious zealotry, sex/power dynamics and more. The stories all expose a truth about our world. I loved the writing and will definitely keep my eye out for more from this author She definitely packs a punch with a sly eye towards society. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Machelle Williams and I'd give it two thumbs up. Thank you to the publisher for the audiobook in exchange for an honest review!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ashwin

    3.5 The stories in the first half of the book were really good. But I felt the rest of the book to be not so great. Still, a pretty strong collection.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shanice

    Thank you to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for providing an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review! This debut collection of short stories from Dantiel W. Moniz was refreshing, relatable and compelling. Although the situations and circumstances these characters found themselves in were issues that are often unfortunate but common to the human experience, Moniz’s imaginative storytelling and eloquent prose takes readers on an emotional and thought-provoking journey. One of my favori Thank you to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for providing an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review! This debut collection of short stories from Dantiel W. Moniz was refreshing, relatable and compelling. Although the situations and circumstances these characters found themselves in were issues that are often unfortunate but common to the human experience, Moniz’s imaginative storytelling and eloquent prose takes readers on an emotional and thought-provoking journey. One of my favorite stories in this collection, Necessary Bodies, is about a young woman named Billie who faces the anxiety of raising a child in a world of so many dangers and unknowns after recently finding out she’s pregnant. Although she and her husband are doing great financially, have an amazing support system, and enjoy other people’s children, Billie still questions whether or not it is responsible to bring new life into the world. These are the types of stories that will start conversations and appeal to readers of all backgrounds and ages. This title has an expected publication date of February 2nd, 2021.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Remo

    Milk Blood Heat: Something Special Every once in a while I encounter a new piece of literary fiction that is truly something special. One of the qualities that defines great literary fiction is the depiction of difficult to express emotions. Milk Blood Heat dives into complex and elusive feelings in a raw and visceral way. The writing is vivid, pulling the reader into the body of the story. A powerful theme across these stories is the embodiment of experience and emotion. Moniz introduces and rei Milk Blood Heat: Something Special Every once in a while I encounter a new piece of literary fiction that is truly something special. One of the qualities that defines great literary fiction is the depiction of difficult to express emotions. Milk Blood Heat dives into complex and elusive feelings in a raw and visceral way. The writing is vivid, pulling the reader into the body of the story. A powerful theme across these stories is the embodiment of experience and emotion. Moniz introduces and reincorporates phrases, ideas, and images in each story that return in satisfying ways. I’m being intentionally vague with my descriptions of these stories as they should be experienced first hand. To give some hint, themes include coming of age, loss, motherhood, gender, and love. The writing style has a palpable quality to it. Moniz grounds each concept in the realities of a person’s life and how they manifest in a person’s body. She doesn’t merely express pain as a mental concept but translates these sensations into the physical sensations experienced by her characters. Different parts of the body symbolize the themes of each story. I found myself deeply affected by each story. Some of the stories were difficult to read because they brought up emotional pain for me. I greatly value stories that can have that kind of effect on me as I think they showcase the power that well made art has. I was never bored or uninterested. Each tale was immediately engaging. I found myself continuously drawn back to these stories. One or two of the stories didn’t hit quite as hard as the others, but this didn’t diminish any of the overall effect. The rich descriptions and excellent word choice reminded me of Sandra Cisneros, and the intense bodily sensations and emotional poignancy reminded me of Jesmyn Ward. The way these stories were crafted showcases an enormous level of care and I recommend this collection to fans of contemporary and literary fiction. I am very excited to see what Dantiel W. Moniz releases next. Disclaimer: ARC provided by Grove Atlantic. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    M. (Inside My Library Mind)

    More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind I absolutely loved this and I think it’s such a good debut collection. Moniz’s writing style works really well for me, and there was not a single story in here that I thought was bad. I think the prose in here was so eloquent and I found the way that the author explored relationships so insightful and intelligent. I particularly enjoy how taut the dynamics were in here, especially between mothers and daughters and I found the discussions around More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind I absolutely loved this and I think it’s such a good debut collection. Moniz’s writing style works really well for me, and there was not a single story in here that I thought was bad. I think the prose in here was so eloquent and I found the way that the author explored relationships so insightful and intelligent. I particularly enjoy how taut the dynamics were in here, especially between mothers and daughters and I found the discussions around body and girlhood so pitch-perfect. These stories stuck with me and I particularly enjoyed how they did not end neatly, but yet felt well rounded and well constructed. There’s a heat that the writing exudes and the stories sometimes felt overwhelmingly hot and stifling and I loved that ability to evoke such a feeling. It’s hard to choose a favorite in a collection that had so many gems, but I particularly enjoyed the titular story, as well as Feast and Necessary Bodies. I could not recommend the collection more, it was such an impactful read for me, one that I think I will go back to during the year, and I cannot wait to see what the author does next! Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Storygraph

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.