Eva Shang's Reviews > Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins

Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue
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Jun 03, 12

Read on June 03, 2012

So I picked up this YA retelling of fairytales at the book swap, and it's been definitely interesting. 
First off, I liked the feminist undertones--these stories seem to challenge the traditional passive roles of women and perpetual quest to find a husband by presenting women as allied in a sisterhood against a world dominated by men. I liked the language- Donoghue manages to keep her prose emotional, mystical, and gripping, full of ornate figurative language as befitting a traditional fairytale. I liked how each story tied into the next, as one woman said to another, "hey, why are you the character that you are?" I just think that's a great model, as opposed to normal fairy tale characters who are completely one-dimensional. I loved the emotional depth and camaraderie in the women portrayed. 

However, some of the twists Donoghue put into the story put me off a little, particularly when the relationships between the women cross into romantic. Also, some closure to tie the two ends of the bead together would have been nice.

Overall, it was a unique take, well written, a lot of mature themes, a quick read, stuff to think about. 
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