The World Fantasy Award winning author retells and recasts fairy tales by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Oscar Wilde in stories and poems that re-center and empower the women at the heart of these timeless narratives.
The fashion of these particular stories and poems is an abundance of lace, roses and porcelain contrasting with fur, snow and blood. The lace is sometimes vicious, the blood sometimes dainty, but everything is always graceful and pretty ... There is a tidiness to the earlier pieces in the collection that leaves little impression ... But...the collection comes to life ... The collection is at its strongest when troubling the boundaries between memory and memoir, exploring the terrain between childhood and adulthood ... As poised and lovely as most of the collection is, [some] lines...strike home, blood-tipped spindles swaddled in thread. And for all that the collection’s beginning pieces misfired for me, I deeply appreciated the echoing patterns in the curation of the whole, with wildly varied takes on similar motifs or stories pouring color out of crystal. The book opens and closes with mirrors, ending with a gorgeous Snow White poem that slayed me[.]
I’m not particularly enamoured of Goss’s poetic style. It’s a little too plain and unadorned for me—I’m fond of blank verse...but in terms of its use, reuse, and reinvention of fairytale, this poetry does solid and uncompromising work. Goss’s spare, elegiac lines carry a weight of emotion and nuance ... all eight of the short stories in this volume are exquisite pieces of work ... I enjoyed the whole collection. It’s well worth checking out.
This lush collection artfully gathers together many of World Fantasy Award winner Goss’s fairy tale–themed poems and short fiction ... a beautiful, sensitive reminder that storybook love is not all it’s cracked up to be. This toothsome collection is best read in one go.