Capsule reviews

WE SINNERS. By Hanna Pylvainen. Henry Holt and Company. 189 pages. $23.

The Rovaniemi family lives a life of financial strain, understandable for Midwesterners with nine children, but more importantly, they live a simple life dictated by their nonmainstream faith.

That faith in “We Sinners” is Laestadianism, a branch of Lutheranism. It is never fully explained but emphasizes forgiveness and remaining above the influences of society.

In most chapters, a different family member’s experience is laid bare as they deal with living their faith, sometimes deciding to give it up to live in the secular world. No emotion, no thought is held back.

What is held back is the end of the story. After each chapter, the reader wants to know more. Even though these feel like real people, readers can make up their own ending.

Reviewer Carol Edwards is a freelance editor and farmer living in Marlboro County.

THE LOVECRAFT ANTHOLOGY: A Graphic Collection of H.P. Lovecraft’s Short Stories, Vol. 1 and 2. Edited by Dan Lockwood. Abrams Books. $19.95.

Don’t read either volume of the “The Lovecraft Anthology” before going to bed. You may never want to turn out the light.

Two new graphic collections, edited by Dan Lockwood, are enough to give nightmares to any imaginative reader.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft is best remembered for his short stories and novellas, heavy with nameless terrors, evil curses that travel down human bloodlines, and multi-eyeballed slime-coated aliens.

Lockwood’s adaptation of Lovecraft’s stories into graphic comics has trimmed to readability Lovecraft’s original archaic writing style. Each story is illustrated by a different artist.

The classic Gothic horror stories are riddled with nightmares of secret caverns or ancient cities. These graphic novels may be as far as most readers might want to go in Lovecraft’s world, but many of his stories are now out of copyright protection and available for free on the Internet.

Reviewer Tish Wells writes for MCT.