cover image Motherless Child

Motherless Child

Glen Hirshberg. Earthling (, $40 (250p) ISBN 978-0-9838071-1-7

Hirshberg (The Book of Bunk) weaves love, desire, revenge, loyalty, and sacrifice into a blockbuster narrative. Natalie and Sophie, sassy North Carolina moms with young children, encounter the Whistler, who turns them into vampires. Clinging to humanity, Natalie tells her widowed mother, Jess, to flee with both women’s kids. The Whistler’s infatuation with Natalie, his “Destiny,” leads him to track down her child as bait to ensure that she will complete her transformation to immortality as his vampiric companion. Angered by the loss of the Whistler’s affection, his companion, Mother, forges her own plots. Hirshberg’s adept characterization engages the reader’s sympathies for Natalie and Sophie as they fight the pangs of vampiric hunger and yearn for their absent children. His depiction of Jess in her dogged, self-sacrificial adherence to Natalie’s request evokes Faulknerian depth. The clash of human and vampire worlds in the tumultuous final showdown presents a satisfying, startling, conclusion and infuses this work with both literary and genre merit. (Dec.)