Dark and Milk by Janet Gogerty


I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a number of weeks now, after downloading it as part of Aiding Indie Authors (if you like reading, it’s well worth checking out that group, by the way). To be honest, I was reluctant to start it. I’m not sure why. I have read many of Gogerty‘s stories on the blog Bookshop Bistro, so I already knew I enjoy her style. Perhaps my reluctance stemmed from my lack of energy for a collection of short stories, but perhaps it was something else – I really don’t know. Whatever the reason was, it was stupid reason! It was stupid, because once I started, I quickly realised that I was going to fall in love with many of these stories!

As far as I can tell, there is no linking theme or over-arching commentary in this collection of tales. It’s just a collection of stories – but a big collection. You definitely get bang for your buck with Dark and Milk. The stories vary, as is to be expected, and I enjoyed some more than others but I have to say that there wasn’t a single story that I didn’t enjoy at all. In fact, more often than not, I was left gasping with dismay to discover that a particular story had ended, that I wouldn’t be getting any more of that particular tale or those specific characters. In this respect, I would say that some of the stories seemed almost unfinished and there were a great number of them that I would like to see expanded in to full-length novels…one day, perhaps?

Radio Waves was one of my absolute favourites in this book, it has a great twist that I wasn’t expecting. Janus left me intrigued and got my brain whirring. Guardian Angel is powerful and dark enough to leave me feeling shocked and little uncomfortable (in a good way, of course). Waiting Room left me wanting more, and I loved Forty Days, the modern-day retelling of Noah and his ark. Cinderella was great too. There are many other stories in this book that are worthy of attention.

I hate giving purely positive reviews. They seem sycophant and false somehow but truthfully, I am in awe of Janet Gogerty’s story-telling abilities. To be able to come up with such different and varied yet engaging tales is a talent, and her ability to tie it all up into an entertaining collection of stories is something to behold. You should read this collection of stories because, quite simply, they are brilliant and entertaining – and whilst you’re doing that, I’m going to download some of her other books!

“Nature is stranger than anything scientists can ever invent.”


  1. I wasn’t going to respond and then I saw it involved Chocolate. 😀 They say that short stories are dead but I write one a week on my Facebook author page and blog. (No, it’s not just procrastinating from proof-reading my next novel- OK. Maybe it is.)
    Thanks for the review Riley. I’m going to check this out. The Bookshop Bistro also looks interesting. I love how authors are so supportive to others in the same boat. I hope Aiding Indie Authors goes from strength to strength.

    1. Nah, I don’t think short stories are dead. I think they are great for when you’ve got a quick five minutes and want a shot of entertainment! Also, short stories are often cleverer than novels – it’s hard to squeeze that much into so little words and to manage to get the reader to feel something. Your stories are great for that.

      Bookshop Bistro is great. You can submit content too, and link it back to your own blog.

  2. Thanks for the great review. You are right there is no theme, just dark and light, although the stories roughly follow the calendar and end at Christmas. I agree I hate to leave my characters behind. ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ started out as a short story. In my second anthology ‘Hallows and Heretics’ you will find interspersed with other stories the ‘Hambourne Chronicles’ – stand alone stories that follow the same characters. Ps Voinks, do send your stories to Bookshop Bistro.

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