This is my Halloween spooky read for this year - I was thinking of re-reading Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, but I had yet to read this one and I wanted something new.
And I chose well because the tone of this short story is reminiscent of Carter's writing in The Bloody Chamber: the lyrical tone, the vivid descriptions, the dreamy feel of it, the sex, the horror, the bright red blood.
This is a retelling of Snow White told from the Wicked Stepmother's point of view.
It combines the monstrous femininity trope with the creepy child one - and although this story is told, as mentioned above, from a female point of view, the fears shown are very male ones.
That monstrous female who drains men of their life blood - men who trust her, men who want her, men who abuse her. Her sexual organs as a source of death instead of life.
The interplay of sex and violence.
I never felt the Stepmother's fear acutely, even near the end - and at that point she should have felt things more keenly. So I didn't feel as if this was ever told by a woman. There was a depth and insight lacking to the story - and not because of its short length.
Still, it's a lovely retelling and a nice Halloween read.
Neil Gaiman's official site
Read Snow, Glass, Apples online for free here