Within these pages you’ll find myriad approaches to Alice, from horror to historical, taking us from the nightmarish reaches of the imagination to tales that will shock, surprise and tug on the heart-strings.
So it’s time now to go down the rabbit hole, or through the looking-glass or … But no, wait. By picking up this book and starting to read it you’re already there, can’t you see?
Wonderland, an anthology
I love a retelling. And Alice has been a story that catches the imagination of so many of us. There’s the fantastic wonderland realm, all the characters and adventures Alice encounters. One of the most fascinating things for me is that everyone finds a different twist, or moment, or character to draw from.
Wonderland is a collection of 19 Alice inspired short stories and poems. Ranging from historical to wild west to Japanese folklore to sci-fi, there is an Alice for everyone in this book. It was an absolute delight to experience each new Wonderland, every one becoming my a new favourite.
So grab your best teacup and be careful what you eat in Wonderland…
Made of dust and bone and imagination, Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life – and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unravelling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones
When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake by destroying a frightful creature just brought to life, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Defying her creator for the very first time, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the mysterious magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more
The Bone Garden
Heather Kassner’s debut The Bone Garden is utterly magical, beautiful and just deliciously dark and mysterious middle grade adventure.
Irrélle is the imperfect creation who wants to be loved and to be real. Miss Vesper is the cruel and demanding mistress who created her. With each task she is reprimanded for failing, each clumsy mistake, your heart breaks for Irréelle. In her quest to please Miss Vesper, she uncovers more than she expects and it makes her grow in ways she could never have imagined.
I throughly enjoyed The Bone Garden, as did Tiny Satan who has now re homed it to his own bookshelf where it feels right at home with Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Coraline. Heather Kassner has us hungry for more and it will come next year in the form of The Forest of Stars.
The Bone Garden was released in UK paperback on July 23rd and August 6th in US hardcover and is available in bookshops now. The US hardcover has illustrations by Matt Sanders both on the cover and inside. Julia Lloyd is responsible for the darker more gothic UK cover.