Usually, when I comment about a collection of tales, I talk about highs and lows, good and bad tales. A Feast of Sorrows is a beautiful exception, since I liked every single tale, however with preferences.
A Feast of Sorrows by Angela Slatter
The collection makes reference to classic fairy tales (Dresses, three; Bluebeard’s Daughter; Light as Mist, Heavy as hope) and it contains original ideas (The coffin-maker’s Daughter; By the Weeping Gate; St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls), the setting of some tales is the same, and it’s possible to find reference to other stories – this is something I absolutely love as a reader.
Some stories are about magic (Sourdought; By my voice I shall be known), other have references to myths and legends (the selkies in The Jacaranda Wife; trolls and changeling in Sister, Sister), other are about embracing the change (The Badger Bride; Bearskin). Some are very short, other are like small novels, and some end other stories (the last three tales are deeply connected).
Every one of them has a strong woman as main character, every one of them facing the hard time of their lives. It’s not always a happy story, as the title of the book underlines, and women and girls are always balanced by male figures that are selfish, inept or simply evil. In more than a tale the main theme is incest, postpartum depression or the social imprisonment by unwritten rules about the role of women.
Angela Slatter’s stories are compelling because they are beautifully wrote and well-built in their plots; the links between the stories and the similar emotions they cause contribute in building a universe that provides continuity in the pleasant reading. I will read other by Angela Slatter.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.
Table of contents:
- Dresses, three
- Bluebeard’s Daughter
- The Jacaranda Wife
- Light as Mist, Heavy as Hope
- The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter
- By the Weeping Gate
- St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls
- By My Voice I Shall Be Known
- Sister, Sister
- The Badger Bride
- The Tallow-Wife
- What Shines Brightest Burns Most Fiercely
* A Feast of Sorrows by Angela Slatter ★★★★★
*I read this book in english