Liminal Librarian

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

I'm not fond of vampires (or anything that feeds on blood, for that matter), yet I understand that not all have sold their souls to some devilish being in exchange for eternal youth. Still, I take offense to being a food source and have reminded plenty of inconsiderate bloodsuckers of who the real prey is. Certain species of vampire are quite a delicacy.

Vampires are often portrayed as the most self-entitled creatures of the supernatural world, their pride and hunger knowing no bounds. The vampire in this story wasn't much different. Although a bit disappointed, I enjoyed my time in a book club of middle-aged women who got their hands dirty for me.

I must admit that I'm also not fond of crime or thriller, but such genres were the focus of Patricia Campbell's book club. They did, at least, provide more entertainment and conversation than whatever long-winded, doorstop of a book Marjorie had assigned everyone for the month.

Patricia Campbell is your average, white American mother with two kids and a busy, ambitious husband. They live in the sleepy town of Old Village, nearing the turn of the century. Needing extra help around the house and with her husband's senile mother, she hires Mrs. Greene. I considered joining at that moment, but having to care for the old and sickly can be too difficult for me. I'm not unaffected by the woes and pains of mortals just because I, like a vampire, have biological immortality.

Plus, Mrs. Greene was a Black woman trying to make ends meet. I didn't want to steal her work.

I read until three years had passed in the book before slipping into its world. Patricia had endured some traumatizing experiences soon after Old Village had welcomed a new neighbor. She'd buried it all as the newcomer proved to be an economical blessing—for the white folks, that is. Even the Campbell family.

Patricia's book club, now including men, was surprised to hear I didn't have any children or family. Much like their beloved neighbor. As you've probably guessed, a few people suggested we should date because a single man is one thing, but how could a single woman possibly be happy and complete without a husband and kids?

I was more amused than offended, however. It was interesting how both he and I valued our freedom, unlike the others that had been unconsciously pressured to adopt society's values. His comment about how us readers live many lives through books was awfully curious. I wondered whether he caught a glimpse of my true identity. He was quite flirtatious, allured by the mystery that surrounded me as it surrounded him.

But I knew better, especially after the things he did.

The ending was fairly bloody, but what did you expect from a title with "Slaying Vampires" in it?

Back to top