Day 37: Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Summary From Goodreads:
In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall.
I can’t believe how long it took me to get to Two and Twenty Dark Tales, but finally I have read it! This anthology intrigued me from the moment I heard about it, and though I heard mixed reviews, when I won it I was still pretty excited to dive in. For whatever reason it has been sitting on my shelves buried under other books since, but as I said, I finally have taken the time to read it.
I did enjoy the anthology quite a bit, though of course I have my favorites. As with most books of this nature I will be doing brief thoughts on my top five short stories in reverse order. So without further ado here they are:
5. Blue by Sayantani DasGupta – A haunting story of ancient storytellers that is not truly dark and has a very pleasant ending. Sweet.
4. Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling – A depressing rhyme is fleshed out and brought to life. Filled with what would be a realistic portrayal of the children’s life in such small quarters, it’s honesty is grim in this retelling but very well done.
3. A Pocket Full of Posey by Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg – The creepiest of Mother Goose rhymes gets all the more disturbing. Dark creatures and forgetfulness abound in what is a tale that children should hope never to hear, and certainly never experience.
2. Tick Tock by Gretchen McNeil – Written by the author of the mystery/thriller Ten, and the reason I was most excited for the anthology, McNeil does not disappoint. With a very dark retelling of “The Clock” she uses creepy children, always a fantastic choice, to do what is right.
1. Candlelight by Suzanne Lazear – Easily my favorite of the anthology, Candlelight was an excellent retelling of “Babylon”. It warns that there is always a price for everything, and that even the seemingly most pleasant of lives is not without cost.