Friday, July 15, 2011
Rapunzel's Daughters and Other Tales by Josie Brown, Rose Mambert, Bill Racicot
What happens after the "Happily Ever After"...?
30 writers answer questions that no one has dared ask before about your favorite fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and legends. What dark arts will Little Miss Muffet employ to exact her revenge on the spider? Can a guide help the Big, Bad Wolf succeed in eating Little Red Riding Hood without getting caught? Is Prince Charming gay? And will the Beast get tired of ravishing Beauty, and instead turn his attention to Lady Gaga?
All of these answers and more can be found in 31 original stories full of indecisive princesses, talking wolves, unhappy frogs, wicked witches, with a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust, magical transformations, and psychotherapy.
*Named an Editor's Choice title by Independent Publisher Online*
This collection is a wonderful mixture of the magical, the bizarre, and the haunting flavor of the fairytales we’ve all been raised on with a healthy dose of the grown-up world. All of these stories deserve to be read and to be savored with the giddiness of childish abandon.
The stories vary from the humorous ones like “The Froggy Prince” which details the difficulties of finding the right enchanted prince to marry, to the frightening like “Snovhit” which describes what could have happened after Snow White rose from the dead. There are a blend of voices, all unique, and all refreshing, with endlessly creative ways of finding ways of retelling the known fairytales. It is especially interesting to see the difference between authors’ takes on the same story, such as “A Wolf’s Guide to the Fairy Tale” by Dave Sellars, and “The Wolf in Standard Ration Clothing” by Michael Takeda, both takes on the Little Red Riding Hood tale. Just to see the differences in these is worth getting your hands on this book.
Two stories that stood out from the collection were “The Seven Swan Brothers” by Anne Waldron Neumann. The original tale is dark enough, but the retelling captures that depression and enhances it. There is such hopelessness to the story that really strikes the reader and that lingers even after the last word. “Come, come Blackbird” by Heather Fowler is the only original tale in the collection, and it is a beautifully told story of lost love and misunderstood magic. There’s a darkness to it that makes it a fitting conclusion to this collection.
This is a wonderful book, one that should be on the shelves of every person that still hopes to encounter a kissable frog on a lily pad somewhere.