“Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time IV criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.”
I couldn’t possibly say no. It feels like I’ve been waiting for this challenge, pondering books for ever.
And here are the books:
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
“After twenty years of self-effacement as a maiden aunt, she decides to break free and moves to a small Bedfordshire village. Here, happy and unfettered, she enjoys her new existence nagged only by the sense of a secret she has yet to discover. That secret – and her vocation – is witchcraft, and with her cat and a pact with the Devil, Lolly Willowes is finally free.”
Witchcraft may suggest another, autumnal challenge, but this definitely feels like a magical springtime book.
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
“Welcome to Bascom, North Carolina, where it seems that everyone has a story to tell about the Waverley women. The house that’s been in the family for generations, the walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round, the rumours of dangerous loves and tragic passions. Every Waverley woman is somehow touched by magic.”
I have heard so much good about this book, and I think that this is its time.
I Coriander by Sally Gardner
“Her idyllic childhood ends when her mother dies and her father goes away, leaving Coriander with her stepmother, a widow who is in cahoots with a fundamentalist Puritan preacher. She is shut away in a chest and left to die, but emerges into the fairy world from which her mother came, and where time has no meaning. When she returns, charged with a task that will transform her life.”
This has been waiting for me in the library for a while. Another book that has found its time.
The Mermaid’s Child by Jo Baker
“Growing up motherless in an isolated community, Malin Reed has always been made to feel different from everybody else. The fact that, according to Malin’s father, the absent mother was actually a mermaid only makes matters worse. When Malin’s father dies, leaving behind nothing but his stories, Malin’s choice at last becomes clear: stay, and never feel at home, or leave and go in search of mermaids and the fantastical inheritance that, up to now, has always seemed completely out of reach.”
I live by the sea, so there had to be a mermaid somewhere.
Iron & Gold by Hilda Vaughan
“Lured from her underwater home, to become a farmer’s wife in the Brecon Beacons, the fairy bride discovers that both her difference and her acquired familiarity breed marital breakdown and tragedy.”
I’ve been promising myself this book for this challenge for ages.
Five wonderful books. What could be better?