Author: Veronica Schanoes
In: Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Gaslamp, Historical fiction
Dates read: 11th October 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: You’d like to know that Annie won’t starve, at least.
Annie has always been told by her gifted grandmother that she has a bright future ahead of her. What she doesn’t know is that the brightness comes from phosphorus and will lead to a dark end…
I’ve recently read The Radium Girls, which gave me a whole new appreciation for what some women went through in the work force in the twenties. And, this story is about phosphorus, not radium. It takes place a long, long time before the occurrences in Radium Girls, but much of the storyline and themes echo. Which is probably why I loved it so much from the very beginning.
This is a very bittersweet and tragic tale. Annie seems to have so much promise and a beautiful life before her. Yet, it is cut short by the greed of others. Although she tries to stay around to watch their comeuppance, but she still meets a kind of horrible end. One that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
Historical fictions and tales which are based on the truths of history have seriously begun to become a bit of an obsession with me. Particularly ones which are based on the battles of women and the working class. This short story perfectly fits that niche and makes me wonder what else Schanoes has written that I can get my hands on…