The Goose Girl is one of those fairy tales where I really, really loved the original story. The idea of the villain in the story pronouncing her own death… well, of course it intrigued me immediately. What I didn’t expect was that I would love a story in which the villain really wasn’t the villain… it was all just an accident of fate and an intriguing story. One that had a seriously tragic ending… but was still very, very good.
The story of East of the Moon, West of the Sun is one of my favourite lesser known fairy tales. It’s what the story of North is based on. So finding another short story retelling of this was incredibly exciting and seriously beautiful. Especially when the journey starts in New York City with a teenager on the cusp of adulthood, and ends in Europe with two people who have finally found what it is to be an adult…
I just finished reading this short story and I can’t get the rhyme “you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!” out of my head. There is something very lyrical and stuck-in-the head about it all. And now I’m going to spend the rest of the night chanting that to my dogs and just generally freaking them out…
One of the things that I love the most about this story is that it’s not about a stunningly beautiful woman. Or a frog that miraculously turns into a gorgeous prince. It’s about those that are almost beautiful. That almost make the cut. It’s a great way to retell a well-known fairy tale, but with a more relatable spin to it.
It takes a little while to realise which fairy tale this story is based on. Mostly because the lead has amnesia and the fairy tale has already happened. And the same sentences are repeated again and again. But then there’s the mention of the ball… and it starts to fall into place again.
The combination of fairy tales and regency romances is absolutely perfect. I love the perfect Victorian setting. I loved the retelling of a great, traditional fairy tale. And I just loved the way that this story unfolded. The combination and the style wasn’t what I expected, but it was definitely one of my favourite short story retellings that I’ve read in a while.
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’ve just finished reading Lee’s Red as Blood collection. So I was kind of expecting something much, much darker than this story. It was incredibly lustful and intense in some ways, but it definitely wasn’t something I would call dark. There was also a point at the end which hints that they could, in fact, live happily ever after.
This is the second feminist collection of fairy tales I’ve ever read. And I don’t know if I like this or Angela Carter’s version better. What I do know is that I love both of them and I will read them again and again. They’re fun, kind of brilliant and super dark. Much more likely in our lives than the pretty Disney-versions that I grew up with.
I’ve been enjoying Beauty and the Beast retellings lately. I have never read one which is this intense though. And a SciFi version to boot. And it was just a short story! Beauty is brilliant, fun and gives an entirely new take on an old classic. Unlike most short stories that I fall this in love with though, I actually was happy with the length. I didn’t feel like it had to be expanded and added to. I didn’t think that it actually needed to be longer, it was kind of perfect all on its own.