There is a lack of pretention to the writing of Beauty that is very enticing. This is storytelling in its richest, oldest form, and as new twists to old fairytales unwound I was taken right back to a period in my childhood when all I did was read Anderson, Grimm and various other fairytale collections. Such stories are dark, full of the metaphoric transformations that mirror the divisions of what it means to be human. Sarah Pinborough’s Beauty brings all of these mesmeric myths to life.
A story about royalty, beauty and beastliness, wolves, spindles, girls with hoods, shining slippers, promised children and witches, what is not to love? Beauty is a reworking of all those familiar tales that weaves new life into their telling, hinting at the impossibility of escaping the recurrence of stories that speak from the foundations of human sensibility. It is not a reworking into the modern day, however, rather a retelling that works for the modern day. If you enjoy fairytales, you will love Beauty.
Next week I’m reading The Wrath of Napolo by Steve Chimombo, followed by Feral Youth by Poly Courtney and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Any suggestions for future reading would be very welcome.