All posts tagged: Fairy tales

Waking Rose – Regina Doman

A fairy tale retold Let me start out with my conclusion, Waking Rose is a surprisingly excellent novel, which I gulped like lemonade in Summer – even though it is the third in Regina Doman’s fairy tale series and I haven’t read the first two. A book is supposed to hold its own and Waking Rose does. Just by the mention of the title, it is no secret that the fairy tale retold, is Sleeping Beauty. However, Regina Doman gives the fairy tale her own spin and makes it very up to date. Waking Rose is a love story between Rose and Fish, and at the same time, it is so much more. Rose and Fish are very complete characters, each of them working out their personal issues. Their attraction to each other is profound, but fortunately Regina Doman doesn’t drown their relationship is the typical love story/life and death/true love rhetoric that is so abundant at the moment. Regina Doman’s has dupped herself a Catholic author and many of the other reviews of Waking …

The Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman

What if one of those ugly wishes, we mutter in anger before thinking it through, came true? That is the defining moment in the childhood of the protagonist in “The Ice Queen”, and it turns her into ice. Feel not and be not tempted to make wishes. As an adult, she is then stroke by lightning – literally. What does not kill you, is supposed to make you stronger; but it does not come automatically. The main character has to struggle through and (re)gain her life and sanity. Moreover, this is the story of “The Ice Queen” written in the magnificent Hoffman style of magical realism that hits home every time. “The Ice Queen” is a fairy tale for adults, which makes you question your own life, wishes, passions, direction, and more than anything, that secret many carry that turns into a shard of glass in our eye. With the title as it is, it is impossible not to compare the novel to H. C. Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name. The parallels are …

Lille Duduk og Store Godok

En listig lille bog med underoverskriften: en opbyggelig fortælling for de små, men “Lille Duduk og Store Godok” er ikke så uskyldigt, som en bog, hvor fortælleren er John Silvers papegøje, lyder. Dog finder jeg heller ikke, at fortællingen giver alt religiøst en overhaling, som bagside kommentaren får det til at lyde. Jeg vil snarere beskrive “Lille Duduk og Store Godok” som en eventyrlig fortælling, hvor mødet med troende mennesker og en spøgse Mr. Solong spiller en væsentlig rolle for papegøjen, der her i historien kalder dig Duduk. Store Godok eller som jeg læste det God-OK er Gud eller i hvert fald en gud, som almægtighed ikke kan eller må betvivles. Med andre ord en sandhed så stor og ikke mindst magtfuld, at der ikke må stilles spørgsmål ved han. Scener, hvor Godok nævnes, minder mig om Inkvisitionens storhedstid. Som pendant hertil er Mr. Solong, der i væremåde og spydige tale minder mig om Mr. Mephistopheles. “Lille Duduk og Store Godok” har mange tråde til kendte eventyr og Duduks udvikling kan på sin vis beskrives …

Skylight Confessions – Alice Hoffman

Family saga in three parts: Ghost wife, A house made of stars, and The red map. After the death of her father, 17-year-old Arlyn vows to love the next man, who comes down the street. This self-afflicted curse results in an unhappy marriage to John Moody, who for all his architectual creativity has lost or never had an open emotional life. Arlyn is trapped in their home called the Glass Slipper with the light of her life – her son Sam and later her daughter Blanca. Meredith, who finds herself in a lull in her life, sees John Moody followed by the ghost of his dead wife and tracks him back to the Glass Slipper, where he lives with the now teenage and troublesome Sam, 10-year-old Blanca, and his new wife. Meredith has a rapport with Sam, who sits on the glass ceiling of the house, high on drugs and low in everything else and she is employed as a live-in nanny. She tries to pull Sam back from the brink. John Moody dies and …

The Third Angel – Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is a magical author, who understands serendipity and the art of magical living and storytelling. I always find myself immersed in her stories and find to extract a little of her fairy dust to my ordinary everyday life. Reading “The Third Angel” is no different. “The Third Angel” consists of three interconnected stories with commonalities in characters, themes, and a run down Knightsbridge hotel called the Lion Park Hotel. I will not spoil the plot for you, but instead only relate that the stories are set in 1999, 1966, and 1952 respectively, and are beautiful, atmospheric time pieces as well. Stories and storytelling is an integral part of “The Third Angel” and Alice Hoffman’s novels in general. In “The Third Angel” there is the story of a heron with a heron wife and a human wife. (And this is just one of the many, many love triangles in the novel.) One character thinks of the story; her daughter publishes the story. There is the story of the third angel, which a village doctor …

Little Black Book of Stories – A. S. Byatt

“Little Black Book of Stories” contains five short stories with dark, Gothic tentacles that coil around the reader’s mind. I love the mixture of fairy tale and realism in the stories that lead rationalism astray. The tales in “Little Black Book of Stories” are written for different occasions, but have enough commonalities to flatter each other in the collection. My favorites were Body Art and A Stone Woman, followed by The Pink Ribbon. The Thing in the Forest did not hit home in my opinion. I will not give you a resume of the individual stories, but leave you to experience them on your own. Bodies play an important role in most of the stories. In Body Art there is Daisy, the emaciated art student and maker of a grotesque piece of art using body parts in formaldehyde and prosthetics. In A Stone Woman, the protagonist turns to stone, a process she and a stone mason follow closely. In Raw Material a creative writing student ends up naked and terribly bruised on the floor. In …

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time… how many stories begin with these words? When I hear them, I nestle in my reading chair, ready for an adventure on the page. An adventure back to bygone times, where princesses were held captive in towers or slumbered for a hundred years, where dragons lived in remote caves and could be slain by brave knights, where the twinkling dust of magic is as factual as the ground beneath my feet or the tree crowns above. What bliss to still believe so!