Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Mistletoe Bride and Other HauntingTales

This book is simply stunning and showcases Kate Mosse at her very best. I read this over a couple of days during Christmas and enjoyed each of the short stories. They are linked together with a tale of sadness and a character suffering with grief or stress. The opening tale called The Mistletoe Bride is beautiful and based on a traditional myth that she grew up with. Mosse decides to tell the story at Bramshill House in Hampshire in 1935, with the story of a lady who becomes locked in a chest on her wedding night, never to be found again. She visits the story again later on in the book, with a different location and narrative.

The collection of 'Haunting Tales' are set in various decades and are mostly inspired by the English landscapes of Sussex and Hampshire and the Brittany and Languedoc regions of France. They are based on English and French folklore with Mosse's own twists and all show a protagonist in crisis. Each story is followed by an author's note which really adds to the experience and helps the reader to understand Kate Mosse as an author. Her style is writing is so atmospheric, I was drawn into each of these stories immediately, which is unusual for me as I am not usually a fan of short stories.

I also really enjoyed the fact that Kate Mosse's first play Syrinx is featured in it's entirety. Set in a Hampshire town in the present day, it is a very effective and emotive piece of writing and really display's her skills as a story-teller and playwright.
This book is perfect for winter reading and I will definitely be dipping into these stories again in the future. 

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