Review based on ARC.
This was a fun, surprisingly quick and easy read. A collection of "ghost" stories involving, originating from, or relating to Vietnam and its people. Some of the stories were fantastic, others felt a little flat, and many were in the "that was pretty good!" category. The first story (Boat Story) felt juvenile to me (like something I wrote in high school), so wasn't the best intro to her work and I definitely would recommend giving the rest of the book a chance if that first story turned you off! And some of the stories felt a little contrived, but in reading many of the stories in this collection, I was able to lose myself in the story - a mark of good writing!
The story that I enjoyed the most and, I think, showed Kupersmith's atmospheric talent the best, was One-Finger. There is depth, range, and skill in that story that I think showed Kupersmith's true potential and made me definitely interested in reading her next...
The stories in Frangipani are not scary and the reader is not left afraid of the dark, but they are interesting, well told on the whole, and have a nice level of creep just below the surface to keep the reader engaged and turning pages.
Violet Kupersmith shows a lot of promise as a writer, and I hope to see something longer, more complex, and definitely in the gothic genre in the future.