If you grew up with your head full of handsome princes, magic frogs and happy endings, then the child within you is probably still craving a fairy tale. And if you didn’t, then you probably love a good laugh. Either way, Fairy Tales for Grown Ups is a little book which is likely to appeal to you.
This collection of seven slightly twisted fairy tales combines fantasy with a wicked sense of humour. In The Magic Fish a woman is offered three wishes by a goldfish she meets in a dentist’s waiting room – on the condition she sets the goldfish free. The dentist who owns the fish appears in a later story, Angela’s Mandrake, where a pretty merchant banker called Angela searches for happiness in her life.
In The Lonely Prince, the heir of a fast food chain also searches for happiness, – desperate to be loved for more than just his prospects. Is pizza and cheap wine the way to test the love of his beautiful suitors? The heroine of The Fat Wife also searches for happiness after her husband trades her in for a younger, slimmer model. Is it possible to be fat and victorious?
These new-millenium characters with their modern dilemmas are gorgeously supported by a cast of frogs and trolls and dragons, set amongst happy endings and hilariously funny twists.
Jennifer Rowe, best known for her serious crime novels, proves her versatility as a writer with this wickedly funny offering. Fairy Tales for grown Ups would make an excellent Christmas gift.
Fairy Tales for Grown Ups, by Jennifer Rowe (rrp$12.95)
Allen & Unwin, 2001.
Once there was a young woman whose name was Annabel Smudge. She was small and slightly untidy-looking with gentle, widely spaced hazel eyes, curly, mouse-brown hair and a sweet, hesitating voice. She was not exactly simple, but she was not what most people would call a bright spark, either. Six days a week she worked as a cleaner in a factory that made staples, paperclips and metal edges for hanging files. Monday to Thursday evenings, after cooking dinner for her live-in boyfriend, Lawrence, who was an out-of-work security guard in delicate health, she would hurry to her local shopping centre to wash dishes at Tony’s Good Eats, the café beside Pompey’s Family Hair Salon…