Book Review: Tangleweed and Brine – Deirdre Sullivan

Book Rating : 2 stars

Tangleweed and Brine is a retelling of traditional fairytales. What drew me in was the promise of twelve dark and gritty stories with feminist undertones, which made me salivate at the thought of morbid and depressing characters and storylines.

What I got instead was bastardized reimagining of fairytales.

I was expecting darker and grittier and didn’t quite find that in this collection. There were a few good stories, like the Bluebeard one, that I very much enjoyed, but for the most part, I didn’t think the stories were dark enough. 

Even with listening to the aduiobook version, the stories didn’t sustain my attention and sometimes, I had trouble understanding what was happening.

Some of the stories tried to be gorier or even inappropriate (I think, since I couldn’t quite follow some of the stories), but failed to be anything like dark and gritty, and certainly nothing feminist.

I wanted to love, really love this collection, but I didn’t.

What I did enjoy somewhat, however, was the writer’s voice. She had this ethereal, poetic quality to her writing, something like a witch telling her children tales before the fire, as a warning or a longing.

Read Tangleweed and Brine for the voice, but not for the stories themselves.

Favorite quotes from Tangleweed and Brine:

“…Beauty and a womb. That’s all you are. That’s all an adder needs.” 


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