Rating: 4 stars
Challenges: TBR Double Dare
I marked a few of the stories and bits of writing that I liked the most. Luckily I own this book so I haven’t had to return it to the library… I’m not familiar with the tales surrounding Reynard (only found out he’s a character with a past when I read some interviews with Oyeyemi), but the story with Reynardine is one of my favourites. Just, the writing, really, that did it for me on that one. This quote appears in that story, and I marked it because it’s about writing.
Brown worked for days. She didn’t know how many days – afterwards she would only ever be able to recall that time as a pause between two breaths she took. In between she ran through the twelve fountain pens. More appeared. She ran through blocks of paper, and more was provided. Occasionally she would feel a hand, a hand that was not her own, passing over her hair, as if blessing her. the words didn’t come easily. She put large spaces betweeen some of them for fear they would attack one another.
Other stories I liked best: the one about Charlie Wulf and Charles Wolfe, the bit when Daphne talks to Mary for the first time – here’s a quote from that segment:
I had to get out of his study, go get the Lysol, do something, before I started kicking his things round again. That was no way to win him over. I could see him adding to Mary’s side of the list in his cheery handwriting, all apples and vowels: She doesn’t trash my study. I stood up. And then I sat down again, staring at the floor. I stood up and sat down, stood up and sat down. There was something on the floor. A shadow that stood while I sat. Long and slanted and blacker than I knew black could be. It crept, too. Towards me. “Oh, my god.” I held my hands out. “No!”
Another quote I particularly liked:
We had nightmares that night, all three of us – my mother, my daughter, and I. My mother hadn’t even heard the story, so I don’t know why she joined in. But somehow it was nice that she did.
I liked seeing Mary develop, seeing S.J. and Daphne realize she’s not quite that nice. I liked how the stories were about S.J. and Mary and Daphne and were so different, but they built on everything. Gah. I’m not being very articulate lately. I liked the fox theme, it kept things fresh and interesting. But really, most of all, I liked the writing. It is possible that I would have enjoyed this story more with better knowledge of Bluebeard stories and other fairy tales, but that knowledge is not wholly necessary to read this lovely book.