Lump is a foundling baby. He is found and fostered by a witch, who lives with her gifted cat and a shackled demon in a cottage deep in the forest. Unaccustomed to maternity and busy with witch business, the woman assigns Lump to the care of a deputy foster-mother, a kindly bear called Ysul. As Lump grows up, the accidents of birth, family and fortune work against him. He is hideously ugly. He is loved and spoilt but also neglected. And when his misdoings bring the witch to ruin and expulsion at a trial in the land of faery, he glimpses a faery dance, whereupon his heart, already resentful and self-pitying, is turned cold as stone. Lump becomes selfishness personified. The rest of this richly imagined, allusive and captivating story unfolds the painfully slow and eventful process by which Lump’s heart warms up again, his tears flow, and he learns to love. This is a fairy story with a difference. Lump has a secret true name which, unwary of spies, he gives away. It is Rumpelstiltskin. His life reworks the familiar story, and incorporates cheeky new versions of others, among them Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks, Pinocchio and Cinderella, not to mention the magic ash-tree Yggdrasil. The book is a feast of freshened-up magic, but its hard-won happy ending is all to do with the magic of the ordinary, with the pleasures of skilled work and family love. If that sounds banal, it isn’t. This is a wise and original book, and perfect for children who know the old stories but have, or think they have, outgrown them. Children, that is, from eight to eighty.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2005-05-01 15:48:142023-04-25 15:53:26The Witch’s Boy