Full disclosure: I read "The Midnight Zone," one of 11 stories in Lauren Groff's short story collection Florida
, out June 5, three times in one sitting. In "The Midnight Zone," an unnamed mother narrates what occurs after a family vacation in a Florida cabin "shipwrecked in 20 miles of scrub" swiftly goes awry. The cabin's walls are the only structure protecting the mother and her two sons from the wild danger lurking outside, where poisonous snakes and panthers roam. Inside the cabin is another peril — one that's less grounded in wildlife, but no less immediate. Groff, whose last novel Fates and Furies
was a finalist for the National Book Award and was named one of then-president Obama's favorite books of the year
, knows how to weave dark and lyrical stories that pull you in. In Florida
, you'll get 12 of them.