Title: The Lady of the House of Love
Author: Angela Carter
In: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (Angela Carter)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Classics, Dark fantasy, Vampires
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: All the silver tears fall from the wall with a flimsy tinkle.
A virginal English soldier, traveling through Romania by bicycle, finds himself in a deserted village. He comes across a mansion inhabited by a vampiress who survives by enticing young men into her bedroom and feeding on them. She intends to feed on the young soldier but his purity and virginity have a curious effect on her.
Sleeping beauty with a dark twist. And not in the slightest what I expected. Actually, it kind of gave me the heeby jeebies. The beautifully lyrical and intense words seemed to completely offset the dark, twisted nature of this vampiri-fic (yes, I went there) story. It was actually so unsettling that I’m glad I read this early in the morning, not late at night. After all, who ever heard of sleeping beauty as a reluctant vampire?
As with everything else that I’ve read by Angela Carter, she has an uncanny ability to turn something that I well-recognise and twist it until it is only liltingly familiar. Turning the women from the place of rescuing, to the attackers or rescuers themselves. In this case, the young woman alone in her castle is most certainly the predator. And the endless sleep? Well, it’s kind of a happy ending…
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