How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales: and Other Stories
Fairy tales are often the first stories we encounter. Featuring heroes and monsters, maidens and magic, offering lessons and morals galore, they teach us fundamental values and entertain us all at once. And Kate Bernheimer continues the fairy tale tradition with How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales, and Other Stories.
With dinosaurs and pink sisters, shadows and talking dolls, librarians and totems, Bernheimer presents haunting looks at mothers and daughters, the magic of childhood, and the power of illusion, fantasy, and dreams. Some of these stories are curious takes on old fairy tales, and some are invented from whole cloth, but each feels strangely contemporary and timeless all at once.
Not every story worked for me, but the ones that did evoked the subtle lyrical beauty of centuries of storytelling, from campfire tales and myths to the modern day. And the ones that didn’t still had depth and character, deftly concealed by deceptively simple narration. Bernheimer clearly has the tools to craft topnotch tales to capture the imagination of kids and parents alike.
How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales is uneven, but heralds great things to come.
Coffee House Press