Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Edited by: Georgia McBride and Michelle Zink
In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.
It’s always hard to decide what to rate anthologies. Some stories are amazing and others bore me. So, I decided to to highlight the short stories that were dark, disturbing, and make this anthology worth buying. 5/23 lived up to their promise to be haunting. These 5 stories were A+++.
Clockwise by Leah Cypress – A retelling of the hickory dictory dock rhyme. Amarind was a princess transformed into a mouse and only the magic of a clock switched her back to a human. She has to unravel the mystery behind the enchantment with the help of a witch.
Boys and Girls Come Out to Play by Angie Frazier – Bronywn tries to save her sister from the Beckoning, but she soon learns that you can’t deceive the witches in the woods.
Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling – She can’t understand why her mother keeps getting pregnant when there’s no money to feed the children she has.
The Well by K.M. Walton – Jack and Jill are the only two left alive after a deadly virus kills everyone else in the world.
The Wish by Suzanne Young – Lauren hates her life so much that she makes a deadly wish upon a star.
A copy of Two and Twenty Dark Tales was provided by the publisher (Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.
Since there are so many authors, I’m only going to spotlight the ones from the stories I loved in this anthology.