Comfort Me with Apples by Catherynne M. Valente
Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.
It's just that he's away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.
But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband's face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can't quite meet her gaze....
But everything is perfect. Isn't it?
TITLE: Comfort Me with Apples
AUTHOR: Catherynne M. Valente
LENGTH: 112 pages
Queer Rep Summary: No canon queer rep.
COMFORT ME WITH APPLES is a story of trouble in paradise, when Sophia finds something out of place and begins to question everything she knows about her life.
The worldbuilding is amazing, deftly layered through lists of community rules and the details of Sophia’s explorations. Sophia is a bit saccharine as a character, I prefer more of an edge to protagonists, but her sweetness is important to the plot and is used very well.
I love the ending, it ties things up neatly in a way that suits the story as a whole.
CW for fatphobia (brief), gaslighting, death.