Author: Peter Straub
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow) & Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror, Retellings
Dates read: 8th January 2020
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: She was loved.
Ashputtle is the newest version of Cinderella. With a much darker, far more disturbing twist…
This is an incredibly insane version of Cinderella. Like, seriously insane. One that I absolutely adored. And couldn’t get enough of. And just seriously enjoyed… but it was dark, and made me think of Cinderella (or in this case Ashputtle) as more of a monster than a victim. Which is probably why I loved it so much. Nothing like a sick, disturbing story to make my crazy brain happy.
I found some of the points made about fat people really interesting. The idea that they’re presumed to be stupid or just plain ignored. It was painfully true. But also helped to create a cloak behind which Ashputtle could hide her atrocities. It’s a little bit scary how spot on these moments were and made me stop and think about how I deal with other people.
My biggest question about this short story is – what was done to the children? I know the culprit. I know that they went missing. And I even know why they were the selected victims. But what I don’t know is what was done with them? And my imagination is not leading me to nice, happy places with that…