review of Samanta Schweblin's short story collection Seven Empty Houses

My favorite entry here, "An Unlucky Man", is one I had already encountered in a best-of-2022 collection. Like that one, all these stories feature disturbing situations presented in understated ways with limited context and no clear resolution. My second-favorite is "Breaths from the Deep", told from the perspective of an aging woman dealing with grief and fear and a deteriorating memory. It's perhaps too long, but builds up to memorably horrifying scene. The other stories have some interesting premises—a mentally ill woman who drags her daughter along during strange home invasions; grandparents with a tendency to get naked at inappropriate times—but mostly left me feeling unsure what the point was.