Title: For the Briar Rose
Author: Elizabeth E. Wein
In: Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Family, Gaslamp
Dates read: 2nd August 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: And anyway, he’s decided he’s too old for country life.
Her father just wants to paint his Briar Rose series, but he’s not quite sure of how. She just wants to start her new life. In this bittersweet story about growing up and moving on, father and daughter find a new, happy life.
This short story had a very dreamy, bittersweet feeling to it. Which makes sense, because it talks about an artist and is loosely based around Sleeping Beauty. Both topics and things which tend to bring up a quite melancholy feel. Or at least, that’s how I personally find these types of stories.
The imagery used throughout this story was incredibly beautiful. There is something special about the briar rose and a girl sleeping amongst them that just seems universal and unforgettable. The use of this to surround a young girl who is about to enter the world of adulthood through marriage was very beautiful. Not just in the painting of her sleeping figure, but also in her relationship with her soon to be husband. It not only highlights the innocence of youth, but also the fun and beauty of the moments in which we leave our youthful hope and wonder behind.
Unlike the other stories in this collection, For the Briar Rose isn’t filled with any kind of conflict. It doesn’t make you feel in awe of any specific talent or moment. It just makes you think. And for me, reflect on the innocence of being a young girl when everything was still beautiful, shiny and hopeful.