I noticed that I have a few collections of short stories hanging around my house. I’m more of a novel person. Thus, these books are either never read, or not rarely finished. I’ve decided that not reading short stories is rather ridiculous. I mean they’re still wonderful stories they’re just you know short. Anyway, I decided to do a short story of the week review, partly because I feel inspired to read them more. I’m thinking about writing some short stories myself, and want to study the craft of it. Okay, enough of my babbling, on with the show.
Story Title: Snow
From: The Rose and The Beast: Fairy Tales Retold
Author: Francesca Lia Block
A young slightly unstable mother gives her baby to a gardener. The gardener realizing she can not remain in his care, leaves the child to be raised by seven very short brothers.
“She had been told not to let strangers in, but this was not a stranger, this was some one she sensed deep in her bones. Like marrow.”
This story is obviously a retelling of the classic fairytale Snow White. It’s a very intriguing exploration. All the major plot points from the fairytale are there, poisoned apples, seven tiny men, etc. However, Francesca Lia Block adds some twists to the story, and the ending is quite a bit different. The story leans toward early versions of fairy tales, in which it was the actual mother and not the step mother who was the villain. I think it was interesting how she modernized elements of the story without making it obvious. In fact a lot of the fairytale is obscured. Half of the fun in reading Snow is that you get to find the little moments where it matches up with the more classic telling of Snow White. Francesca has a beautiful lyrical yet unusual writing style that makes you feel like the story is being spoken to you. A wonderful new take on a old tale.
I looked up the origins of the Snow White fairy tale on Wikipedia. It was very interesting. Here's the link: Snow White on Wiki.