Short Story Spotlight: "Hare Moon" by Carrie Ryan

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For this month's Short Story Spotlight, I am deviating a bit from my normal fare of classic short stories available for free online. When I heard there was a short story prequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I knew that I had to get my hands on it. While it isn't free online, you can either read it in the book of short stories Kiss Me Deadly by Trisha Telep, or you can buy the story separately as a Kindle Original for $1.99.

"Hare Moon" is the story of Tabitha, the head of the Sisterhood in The Forest of Hands and Teeth. As a young girl, she is not chosen for a wife at Brethlaw and becomes a part of the Sisterhood. However, she aches to know what is beyond the fences of the village, and sneaks away as often as possible. One day she meets a boy from another village, Patrick, and they fall in love, agreeing to meet each month two days after the full moon. However, in the times between their meetings, Tabitha learns more about the history of her village and the role the Sisterhood has played, and feels the burdens of duty press upon her. The balance between caring for her village and the love she feels for Patrick weigh on her, and in the end she must make a painful choice.

I liked that "Hare Moon" showed a different approach to take to the village. While Mary in The Forest of Hands and Teeth resisted passionately any hold the village had on her, longing only to escape and seeing her experiences there as restrictive, Tabitha feels a sense of obligation. She understands that to keep the village safe, many sacrifices have been made, and she feels a pressing sense of duty to care for her village and respect the lives of those that have died to sustain it. However, in fulfilling that duty, something that could be seen as altruistic, Tabitha loses much of her humanity. In the story, she describes it as choosing survival over life.

I also thought Tabitha's view of the Unconsecrated was very different and interesting. She doesn't hate them or resent them for forcing her to keep her life walled and protected. She envies them - she has so much unrestrained passion for life that she wants to need and desire as much as they do. She unequivocally believes she will join them some day, and doesn't necessarily see that as a negative thing, although she isn't rushing out into the forest on a suicide mission.

Overall, I found this to be an interesting addition to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I haven't read the other books in the series yet (although I took them out from the library this week - hooray!). The story was intense and haunting, certainly not a comfortable read, but a thought-inspiring one.


  1. I've wanted to read this one ever since I found out it existed! Alas, I don't have a kindle, and my library system doesn't have the book that it's in. (Boo! My library system sucks down here...) Anyway, your review made me want to read it even more! Gah! Also, you're going to love the next two books! I liked them even more than the first one!

  2. Oooh I haven't read this one yet! And you know how much I LOVE this series. I knew it was out there, I just hadn't found my way around to it.


  3. Kaydrielle - Did you know there is a free Kindle app for any computer? It might be worth the $2 to read the story. I'm so excited to read the next two! I've heard they are better. Remember our list of fictional loverboys? I just randomly started thinking of that.

    Asheley - Yes, you should definitely read this! I'm so excited to read the next two!


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