Wednesday 3 January 2018

Review: Tangleweed and Brine - Deirdre Sullivan

A collection of thirteen dark, feminist retellings of traditional fairytales from one of Ireland's leading writers for young people.

In the tradition of Angela Carter, stories such as Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin are given a witchy makeover, not for the faint-hearted.

Intricately illustrated with black and white line drawings, in the style of Aubrey Beardsley, by a new Irish illustrator Karen Vaughan.

Visit Deirdre Sullivan's website for more information

Tangleweed and Brine is a collection of thirteen feminist fairytale retellings written by Deirdre Sullivan and beautifully illustrated by Karen Vaughan. Even as an ebook it's a gorgeous book but I really think I'm going to have to invest in a hardback copy for my library.

These stories aren't always easy to read, just like traditional fairytales they're dark and sometimes disturbing, they definitely don't have the Disney happy endings we've grown so used to these days! In fact you'll probably find some of these stories are now even darker than the original versions but they're very reflective of the way women were treated at the time the originals were written and they feel very true because of that. These stories don't all have happy endings for the female characters but some of the girls manage to find their own path and take revenge on the people who wronged them which I loved.

In case you're interested here's a list of the stories included (and the original tale they're based on):
1. Slippershod (Cinderella)
2. The Woodcutter's Bride (Little Red Riding Hood)
3. Come Live Here and be Loved (Rapunzel)
4. You Shall Not Suffer... (Hansel and Gretel)
5. Meet the Nameless Thing and call it Friend (Rumplestiltskin)
6. Sister Fair (Fair, Brown and Trembling)
7. Ash Pale (Snow White)
8. Consume or be Consumed (A Little Mermaid)
9. Doing Well (The Frog Prince)
10. The Tender Weight (Bluebeard)
11. Riverbed (Donkeyskin)
12. The Little Gift (The Goose Girl)
13. Beauty and the Board (Beauty and the Beast)

It's hard to pick a favourite story but I think it would probably have to be either Riverbed for sheer creep factor and the brilliant ending or The Little Gift which adds a lesbian romance to the tale of The Goose Girl.

Just one of the gorgeous illustrations you'll find in this book,
this one is from The Little Gift.

Source: Received from Little Island Books in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Hardback / Kindle:

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