Haelewise is the daughter of a midwife living in The Black Forest. Her mother tells her all sorts of fantastical stories about the world as she is growing up. As a girl she has unusual fainting spells that her father insists is a demon that needs to be exorcised. When her mother falls ill and passes away she leaves Haelewise with some pagan gifts that leave her questioning her upbringing. Her father quickly remarries and she is run out of town with no option but to trace her mother’s past to a mysterious tower in the woods.
I love fairy tale retellings and this one has a lot of great elements. It is very slowly paced, but I was really invested in Haelewise and really wanted to find out what happened to her, how she overcame her increasingly bleak circumstances and how she came to know Rapunzel.The story weaves so many Grimms elements together in a very realistic way. I liked the play of the ancient women’s magic and Christianity and the way it all reads like historical fiction. The prologue and epilogue connecting it to modern times were a bit unnecessary but all in all this was an enjoyable read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Redhook Books via Netgalley for advanced access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
What are you setting up for your weekend TBR?