Kissing the Witch isn't just a collection of retold fairy tales. It isn't even just a collection of extremely go...moreQuite possibly my favorite book ever.
Kissing the Witch isn't just a collection of retold fairy tales. It isn't even just a collection of extremely good retold fairy tales. The beautiful intertwined stories in this book are a conscious exploration of how stories, passed from generation to generation among women and girls, have shaped our understandings of life. Even better, it pushes the envelope, showing how the diverse and changing lives of women are transforming how we view these traditional tales.
That's a huge part of why I love this book (I barely scratched the surface of it in a graduate school paper), but a more casual reader will appreciate the depth of feeling, vivid imagery, and nonconformity, even rebelliousness, of these stories. More allegorical magical realism than fairy tale, they are forcefully progressive and at the same time far from polemical.
I strongly recommend this collection for anybody who enjoys fairy tale retellings (especially the works of Angela Carter--these are much less dark--Francesca Lia Block, and Robin McKinley) and books with strong, deeply human heroines. If you're a teen sick of the popular model of weak-willed, misguided, lovesick female protagonists, by which I mean "Twilight", this is your book. Check out Block's "The Rose and the Beast" as well.(less)