Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue

Last weekend was the release of Snow White and the Huntsman in theaters. Like many of you I went just to see the beautiful and talented Charlize Theron in all her alpha female, wicked, sexy as hell craziness as Queen Ravenna. I enjoyed it but let’s be honest, we all know this would have been a far more entertaining fairy tale if Snow White and the Evil Queen had worked out all that jealousy, insecurity , competitiveness and sexual tension with a good Sapphic cougar/kitten role in the hay. Seriously. Just visualize a willing and eager to please Kristen and a lustful Charlize panting hoarsely in her ear “Who’s your Wicked Step-mommy, huh? Say it! Say it!”  Sorry sorry! I digress from the topic of this post which is …umm ….oh right! Emma Donaghue’s stunning retelling of thirteen classic fairy tales “Kissing the Witch”.

“Who’s your Wicked Step-Mommy, huh? Say it! Say it!”

The stories are re-interpreted from a feminist, sometimes lesbian perspective. They are linked by each heroine asking her mentor for her own back story and thus begins a new tale. Cinderella, Snow White, the Snow Queen, Gretel and so many other characters the reader will recognize are all here. Quite honestly I found Donoghue’s version of Beauty and the Beast even better than the original.

These thirteen stories are all short, easy reads written in simple yet seductive prose. They are not necessarily happy stories with happy endings either. They are sophisticated and thought provoking tales about the realities women have always faced in society in stark contrast to the naivete of the fairy tale narrative we are conditioned to believe since childhood. As one crone tells a young woman “Change for your own sake, if you must, not for what you imagine another will ask of you.”

For those like me who always loved fairy tales and couldn’t understand as children why the princess couldn’t live happily ever after with another princess I unabashedly recommend “Kissing the Witch”. I for one, was simply enchanted.



To order Kissing The Witch from Amazon click on one of the corresponding links below.


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