The Devil You Know is the follow-up volume to Farrell’s critically acclaimed debut collection, Sugar Bush & Other Stories.
These stories deal with sex, love, work, birth, and death in alternately moving, shocking, funny, and at times devastating ways. Whether these characters are facing the death of a parent, bad love choices, the possibility of unwanted pregnancy, the rupture of friendships, teen violence, or the exploration of sado-masochistic sex, Farrell exposes their ticking cores and pulls the reader along every step of the way.
"Jenn Farrell’s smart, observant stories about desire and escape take us to the places we’re all afraid to admit we’ve been. Read The Devil You Know with greed and a hot, pleasurable hint of guilt."
— Sally Cooper, author of Love Object and Tell Everything
"There are points in Jenn Farrell’s amazing collection that I felt like I was listening in on the most intimate conversations of strangers—I was rapt with attention, but almost guilty for being privy to such intimacy. The Devil You Know treads familiar territory—small town ennui, adolescent love, grief and self-destruction—but does it with such emotional acuity that it doesn’t feel familiar at all, it feels extraordinary."
— Catherine Hanrahan, author of Lost Girls and Love Hotels
"Make no mistake; The Devil You Know belongs on the shelf alongside Nights Below Station Street. In this confident, insightful, often horrifyingly funny collection, Jenn Farrell distinguishes herself as one of Canada’s finest contemporary writers of short fiction. Here are working class family dramas boiled down to the bone. Quick and mean as a Virginia Slim and bright and harsh as a Rexall at midnight, Farrell never fails to bring us down to earth to meet those beautiful, flawed, undeniably human devils we know so well. Refreshingly honest, impeccably written. A very, very good book."
— Elizabeth Bachinsky, author of Home of Sudden Service
Sexy, funny, sad and sweet-Sugar Bush & Other Stories are frank tales of sex, love and longing. These girls and young women navigate their lives in questionable ways, making some ill-advised choices in their quests for individuality. Whether waiting tables in a factory town, skipping school to make out in the cemetery or wandering alone on rural side-roads, the characters in this collection share an appetite for destruction and an almost pathological need for acceptance and approval. Part breathless teenaged confessional, part wistful looks back, Sugar Bush is a potent cocktail of desires thwarted and fulfilled.
"Farrell's stories surprise with sophisticated twists and unexpected turns. In story after story, Farrell successfully rescues her characters from sinking into cliché, raising them above their very ordinary lives into the realm of the extraordinary. Farrell's writing style throughout (the book) is both whimsical and unpretentious, making Sugar Bush enjoyable and highly readable."
— Christine Walde, author of The Candy Darlings, in a review in Quill & Quire
"Populated by eccentrics, Sugar Bush is a collection of coming-of-age stories. What makes them unique and engaging in what is often an overwrought genre is Farrell's humour and sense of irony."
— Leanne Johnson, the Vancouver Review