This was one of the hardest challenges to find a book for, mostly because I couldn’t decide if I should find a book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe. But I ended up settling for something that seemed quite appropriate for the prompt. After all, fairy tales are often full of all sorts of witches. Which is why I chose the book The Witch and Other Tales Retold by Jean Thompson.
I’m not even sure how the book ended up on my reading list to be honest. Most likely it was a recommendation on some Goodreads based on my other reads. But I’m always a sucker for fairy tales, as some of you might remember me saying in my review of Poisoned Apples.
Like the book I reviewed prior, The Witch and Other Tales Retold takes classic fairy tale scenarios and puts them into modern ones. Princes become forgetful one night stands, wolves become sexual predators, curses become unfortunate accidents that destroy families, and witches become abusive foster mothers. What is familiar in these fantasy world becomes somehow familiar in our own world as well.
As something of a fairy tale lover, I’d say I’ve read some modernized versions I’ve liked better than these. Thompson’s were interesting and kept me reading, but unlike Poisoned Apples I didn’t feel like I walked away with a lot. They do, I think, keep that cautionary tale element that these stories were so well known for. Urging people to watch out for these potential problems in their own lives too. It was clever, but I really don’t think I’ll think on this book much in the future. I recommend it to any fairy tale lovers, but other than that I can’t really rave about it. Though not necessarily modernized, I’d put Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue ahead of this one on a list of fairy tale books I liked.
Any books you know of that would fit this reading requirement? Do you think fairy tales can still be useful today? Or have they simply been relegated to good stories from the past? Any fellow fairy tale lovers have anything to add?