by Lucy Wood
Pub. Date: August 7, 2012
Book received from: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Genre: Short stories/Fiction
Cover: Different and it grew on me, but I still like the hardcover artwork better.
Characters: Dreamy, terrifying, and calm snapshots
Worth the read? Absolutely- Especially if you are a fan of short stories, myths, or Jeanette Winterson
What if you could reclaim a lost love from the temptresses of the sea? What if you could see into the secret life of your mother, whose simplicity you have always taken for granted? What if your house cared for you, rather than the other way around? Or what if you really did turn into stone because love is out of reach? What happens when a forest comes to life? These are the myths and questions explored within the pages of Diving Belles, a collection of magical short stories that take the mundane out of everyday life.
Wood is able to reimagine life in a way that most would never fathom, while making it relatable and shedding light on the secrets within each of us. Diving Belles is a beautifully, and quietly, written collection exploring the myths of the sea and the forest and everything in between. Often, I was reminded of Jeanette Winterson, with the unique spin on myths and legends, and the simplistic exploration that plunges depths unknown. There are times while reading that I was not entirely certain what was happening, but by the end it made perfect sense.]
Each story of Diving Belles takes on a completely different life. Perhaps my favorite was ‘Countless Stones’, wherein the leading lady is slowly turning into a standing stone throughout the telling of the story. It is never quite answered as to why this is happening, but the point that it is happening is quite enough. By the end, she is trying to find the balance between her home as flesh and bone, and her home as a standing stone- not knowing where she belongs the most. If I were to choose one selection to be turned into a full length novel, this one would be it- hands down. It was beautiful, peaceful, and terrifying- and I have so many questions left unanswered.
Wood is definitely an author to watch. She is able to write on a literal level with complex metaphors, blend mystical with realism, and convey a texture of emotions in a single story. If she is able to create such simple magic with a short story, one can only imagine what she could deliver in a novel. I, for one, am anxiously waiting to see what is next, because I have not had nearly enough.
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‘Diving Belles’ can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.
I could not find an author link for Lucy Wood, but here is a great article she wrote for Huffington Post.