I have been reading Kelly Link's new collection, White Cat, Black Dogs, made up (though not slavishly) of stories based on fairy tales. In one way, this is a pity. One of the particular joys of Ms Link's fiction is that moment shortly after completing one of her stories when you lean back and wonder, "How the hell did she come up with that?"
"The Faerie Handbag" comes immediately to mind.
But even if (let us say for example) "The Lady and the Fox" being labeled as a reimagining of Tam Lin prevents that satisfying experience and allows the alert reader to anticipate how the story will end to boot, there are still other pleasures. The Honeywells are a marvelous invention. The young protagonist ages into desire most convincingly and touchingly. Her people act like people--and not just any people; they act like themselves... actual individual people you might conceivably meet. And the dialogue can be quote-out-loud delightfully crisp.
I have no particular reason for saying all that--I haven't finished the book, so this post can in no way be considered a review. I just wanted to say that to somebody. Thank you for being there so I could.
And now, if you'll forgive me, I have a book to get back to.