Author: Jean Thompson
Provided Synopsis: Great fairy tales are not always stories designed for children. The lurking wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood,” the gingerbread house that lures Hansel and Gretel, the beauty asleep in her castle—these fables represent some of our deepest, most primeval fears and satisfy our longing for good to win out over evil (preferably in the most gruesome way possible).
In this captivating new collection, critically acclaimed author Jean Thompson takes the classic fairy tale and brings it into the modern age with stories that capture the magic and horror in everyday life. The downtrodden prevail, appearances deceive, and humility and virtue triumph in The Witch, as lost children try to find their way home, adults cursed by past unspeakable acts are fated to experience their own horror in the present, and true love—or is it enchantment?—conquers all. The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told is a haunting and deeply entertaining collection, showcasing the inimitable Thompson at the height of her storytelling prowess.
Review: The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told is a compelling series of eight short stories with a modern-day twist given to fairy tales. Some of these stories worked better than others. For example, in the cases of “The Witch” or “Candy” the themes of the original work are expanded upon to be darker and to strip the innocence we have known these characters to embody. One of my particular favorites, “The Curse,” was filled with so much foreboding to keep me wary and on the edge of my seat.
On the other side of the spectrum fell stories that went completely over my head. Perhaps I became too lost in my thoughts as I tried to piece together and match what I was reading to the fairy tale it originated from, or maybe these were just the weakest of the bunch… I don’t know. But I would still recommend this collection to those with an appreciation for short stories and re-tellings weighted with modern-day honesty.