“In the Night Wood” by Dale Bailey

This was a random purchase. I was in the bookstore browsing the shelves when I saw this gorgeous cover peeking out at me. I took the book down, admired the cover, and read a bit of it to see if I should purchase it. I immediately fell for the writing and left the store with the book. When the NEWTs Magical Readathon rolled around, I decided to settle down and read the story. I liked it.

Genre:

Literary fantasy

Series:

n/a

Pubbed:

October 2018

Goodreads summary:

In this contemporary fantasy, the grieving biographer of a Victorian fantasist finds himself slipping inexorably into the supernatural world that consumed his subject.

American Charles Hayden came to England to forget the past.

Failed father, failed husband, and failed scholar, Charles hopes to put his life back together with a biography of Caedmon Hollow, the long-dead author of a legendary Victorian children’s book, In the Night Wood. But soon after settling into Hollow’s remote Yorkshire home, Charles learns that the past isn’t dead.

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“Cinderella: or The Little Glass Slipper” by Charles Perrault, illus. by Camille Rose Garcia

As a kid, my favorite fairytale was Cinderella. I would read the story over and over and would even write what I now know to be fanfic of it. I love stories about good people who are downtrodden and mistreated but are able to escape, work towards, or be rescued and carried off to a better life. For some reason, I strongly related to this. Life in Jamaica wasn’t bad, but it was (and is) hard, and I would often dream of the day my parents would come rescue me and carry me off to live with them in the fabled land of America, where anything is possible.

Now that I’m living in America and saddled with student loans, I now dream of the day that I win the lotto/find a long-lost rich uncle/get a huge raise that will help me pay off my student loans quickly.

My love for Cinderella did not fade over the years. It grew stronger. And although I hardly ever reread the fairytale, I easily fall for its retellings, like Cinder by Marissa Meyer, or stories that have characters who allude to Cinderella in some way, like Harry Potter. So, I was beyond excited when Millie from Milliebot Reads featured this edition of the fairytale in one of her Judging a Book by Its Cover posts. I knew right then that I had to purchase it. The illustrations and book design called to me. And when the NEWTs Magical Readathon came around, I took the opportunity to finally reread one of my favorite fairytales.

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Weekend Reads #68: Cinderella

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

This weekend’s post is inspired by a Weekly Writer Wisdom post I saw on Sara Letourneau’s blog that asks:

What stories (novels, myths, legends, etc.) have taken up residence in your soul? How or why do you think they moved you to this degree? Has a story ever inspired you to do something new or different, change your worldview, etc.? Is this something you hope to accomplish with your own work?

Instead of focusing on several books/stories that have resonated with me, I’ll instead discuss one that has stuck with me since the first time I read it as a child, Cinderella.

We’re all familiar with this fairy tale about a girl who’s abused by her evil step-mother, attends a ball with the help of her fairy god mother, and is later rescued from her horrible life by a charming prince. I can’t recall having the story read to me, but I do recall reading it over and over again as a kid.

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