Sisters, ah yes, I know all there is to know about sisters since I have two of my own and a cousin who is more like an older sister than a cousin. Or do I? Know all there is to know about sisters – that is?
I chaffed through my childhood while Mom read or told us stories about sisters and how the youngest one was always the prettiest, wittiest, smartest, best all around at everything. How come it was never the oldest?
Well at least when our cousinly theatre was presented, I played the part of Cinderella. Well, it was because I was the theatrical type and my sisters and cousin weren’t. But secretly, deep down, I was so relieved that the oldest could do something beautiful, special, right.
One of my favorite stories as an eldest sister growing up in the 50’s was Snow White and Rose Red. Why? Because both sisters were all those wonderful things that seemed in most tales to belong only to the youngest. Both sisters marry a prince.
This month it is my turn to choose the book and lead the book discussion for my book club (Broads, Books and Banter). At Jane Yolen’s suggestion I decided to have members read one of the books in the Fairy Tale series edited by Terri Windling. These novels are remakes of the old fairy tales. Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede, was one of them. It is set in medieval England. The Land of Fairy borders the land where the home of the widow and her two daughters is located. The novel follows to some degree the Grimm’s tale, but with delightful diversions.
Other novels in the Fairy Tale series include Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen; Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean; Jack the Giant Killer, by Charles de Lint; The Nightingale, by Kara Dalkey; White as Snow, by Tanith Lee; Fitcher’s Brides, by Gregory Frost; The Sun, the Moon and the Stars, by Steven Burst; and Persinette, by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont La Force. If you haven’t discovered this series of old tales set in more modern times, you’re in for a treat.