These are independent reviews of the products mentioned, but TIME receives a commission when purchases are made through affiliate links at no additional cost to the purchaser.

This electric debut short-story collection from Dantiel W. Moniz features 11 narratives all rooted in Florida. The setting is pronounced in each: it is swampy and sticky and hot. A thread of darkness ties together these stories, which showcase characters grappling with life’s most devastating revelations amid their relatively ordinary existences. In one, a Black girl analyzes her relationship with her white best friend before and after a tragedy. In another, two siblings are brought together by a cross-country road trip with their father’s ashes. There are absent parents and expecting mothers, angsty teenagers and frustrated spouses. They all face changes, both big and small, that Moniz captures in unsparing detail.

Buy Now: Milk Blood Heat on Bookshop | Amazon

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at