With language that is both lyrical and distinctly her own, Francesca Lia Block turns nine fairy tales inside out.
Escaping the poisoned apple, Snow frees herself from possession to find the truth of love in an unexpected place.
A club girl from L.A., awakening from a long sleep to the memories of her past, finally finds release from its curse.
And Beauty learns that Beasts can understand more than men.
Within these singular, timeless landscapes, the brutal and the magical collide, and the heroine triumphs because of the strength she finds in a pen, a paintbrush, a lover, a friend, a mother, and finally, in herself.
Best Children's Books 2000 (PW)
Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL)
“They wanted her to know that they had suffered but not to be afraid of it, they wanted her to have everything – the world, too. And to be able to return to them, to safety, whenever she needed. They knew, though, she would not suffer as they had suffered. She was perfect. They were scarred.”
“She loved them. That is what no one tells. She loved them. They smelled of woodsmoke and sweet earth, were flowers grow. She believed that they knew everything, could make anything. The loved her as their daughter, sister, mother…they loved her.”
“She wanted them the way she needed the earth and the flowers and the sky and the sea from her tower room and food and sleep and warmth and light by the fire and poetry and the stories of going out into the world and almost being destroyed by it and returning to find comfort and the real meaning of freak. And I am a freak, she thought happily. I am meant to stay here forever. I am loved.”
“They cared more for the eyes and the ears; they seemed to want to collect these like charms to wear around their necks, the eyes and the ears and the mouth whispering..”
“She was free, still, like a child, the way it is before you are seen and then after that you can never remember who you are unless someone else shows it to you.”
“The woman with hair like red roses, hair of white like snowfall. She was young and old. She was blind and could see everything. She spoke softly but voice carried across the mountain ranges like sleeping giants, the cities like fairies and the oceans – undulating mermaids. She laughed at her own sorrow and wept pearls at weddings. Her finger were branches and her eyes were little blue planets.”
“And there are glass shoes made from your words, the stories you have told like a blower with her torch forming the thinnest, most translucent sheets of light out of what was once said. But be careful; sand is already broken but glass breaks. The shoes are for dancing not for running away.”
“Beloved. One. He planted in her a seed of a white flower with a dizzy scent; in the night garden the oranges hung like fat moonstruck jewels and the jasmine bloomed as she spun and spun.”
“Only her eyes shone out. Revealing not reflecting. Windows. Her feet were bare. He wanted her to tell him the rest of the story. He felt bereft without it, without her. There were only these women with mirror eyes strutting across marble floors, tossing their manes, revealing their breasts, untouchable, only these tantalizing empty glass boxes full of dancing lights he could not hold, only these icy cubicles, parched yards, hard loneliness.”
“I was always hungry for food – blueberry pancakes and root beer floats and pizza gluey with cheese – I though about it all the time. And other things. I’d sit around dreaming about the boys I saw at shows or at work – the boys with silver earrings and big boots – would tell me I was beautiful, take me home and feed me Thai food or omelets and undress me and make love to me all night with the palm trees whispering windsongs about a tortured, gleaming city and the moonlight like flame melting our candle bodies.”...Continua