I love when I find great new author. Well, it turns out that Jean Thomson, is not new at all, but I am embarrassed to say that I had never read any of this wonderful writer’s works before.
The Witch is a collection of eight short stories that are loosely modeled on well known fairy tales. Most of the stories take place in modern day and are beautifully crafted tales.
The stories are in many different styles and locations and all but one take place in modern times. The title story The Witch is an adaptation of Hansel and Gretel to modern day. The parents of a young boy and girl are judged to be unfit and the children are shipped off to live with a foster mother. The children soon come to think of her as a witch since she keeps them locked in the house and only acts sweet to outside visitors. I will not give away the rest of the story other than to say that it has a more satisfying ending than the original Grimm Brothers story.
My favorite story in the book is entitled Inamorata. It Is the story of a college-aged young man who has slight brain damage from when he was hit by a car as a child. He is usually fine, but there are times when he simply loses the memory of something. The night after a college party he wakes up with a wonderful feeling.
He knows for certain that the night before he had met the woman of his dreams who he is destined to be with. However, he is devastated by the fact that he has suffered one of his memory losses and he simply cannot remember who she was. He is certain that he will know her if he sees her again. The story then becomes an amusing and Quixotic quest with he and his roommate trying to track down every girl that was at the party the night before. This is, of course, an adaptation of Cinderella with a very modern twist.
Good, complete, short stories are extremely difficult to write. I know, since I have tried in this very blog. Jean Thompson has been able to accomplish the task and do it with stories in many different styles.
I highly recommend this book and I am delighted to discover that Jean Thompson has also written six novels and five other collections of stories. I look forward to reading them all.