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Diving Belles: And Other Stories
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HarperCollins 2012
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Description
In the tradition of Angela Carter, this luminous, spellbinding debut reinvents the stuff of myth.
Straying husbands lured into the sea by mermaids can be fetched back, for a fee. Trees can make wishes come true. Houses creak and keep a fretful watch on their inhabitants, straightening shower curtains and worrying about frayed carpets. A mother, who seems alone and lonely, may be rubbing sore muscles or holding the hands of her invisible lover as he touches her neck. Phantom hounds roam the moors and, on a windy beach, a boy and his grandmother beat back despair with an old white door.
In these stories, the line between the real and the imagined is blurred as Lucy Wood takes us to Cornwall's ancient coast, building on its rich storytelling history and recasting its myths in thoroughly contemporary ways. Calling forth the fantastic and fantastical, she mines these legends for that bit of magic remaining in all our lives—if only we can let ourselves see it.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
8/7/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780547595559
ASIN:
B005LVR6GY
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lucy Wood. (2012). Diving Belles: And Other Stories. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lucy Wood. 2012. Diving Belles: And Other Stories. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lucy Wood, Diving Belles: And Other Stories. HarperCollins, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lucy Wood. Diving Belles: And Other Stories. HarperCollins, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:00:24
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:42:05
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 26, 2022 07:26:28
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        LUCY WOOD grew up in Cornwall and attended Exeter University, where she completed a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing. She currently lives in Cornwall.

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title
Diving Belles
fullDescription
In the tradition of Angela Carter, this luminous, spellbinding debut reinvents the stuff of myth.
Straying husbands lured into the sea by mermaids can be fetched back, for a fee. Trees can make wishes come true. Houses creak and keep a fretful watch on their inhabitants, straightening shower curtains and worrying about frayed carpets. A mother, who seems alone and lonely, may be rubbing sore muscles or holding the hands of her invisible lover as he touches her neck. Phantom hounds roam the moors and, on a windy beach, a boy and his grandmother beat back despair with an old white door.
In these stories, the line between the real and the imagined is blurred as Lucy Wood takes us to Cornwall's ancient coast, building on its rich storytelling history and recasting its myths in thoroughly contemporary ways. Calling forth the fantastic and fantastical, she mines these legends for that bit of magic remaining in all our lives—if only we can let ourselves see it.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 11, 2012
        Each story in Wood’s debut collection is set on the misty, craggy coast of Cornwall, England, where the author grew up. Aching and mystical, these tales speak of husbands turned to mermen who haunt nearby shipwrecks, as in the title story; plundering ghosts of thieving sailors in “Lights in Other People’s Houses”; fairies who emerge with the application of magical eye cream in “Of Mothers and Little People”; and a moor where “There were hundreds of bones, heaped and leaning like the beams and joints of an abandoned mansion,” in “The Giant’s Boneyard.” Wood never pokes fun at her subjects, no matter how outlandish, treating their lives, loves, and tragedies with respect in landscapes ripe with magical realism. The isolated characters are mired in loneliness, and while transformation is a recurrent theme, few stories offer resolution. Instead, Wood brings into focus what hovers at the edge of reality, pulling those phantoms front and center. Rich with folklore, steeped in the sounds and scents of the ever-present sea, these stories flicker and disappear before reason kicks in, much like the creatures of legend that inhabit them. These are distinctively grown-up fairy tales that recreate a sense of wonder and imagination without the moral endings of their childhood counterparts, but, like them, linger in the imagination. Agent: Elizabeth Sheinkman, Curtis Brown.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2012
        A dozen strange and original stories inject the magical, sinister and downright peculiar into the everyday. Talking magpies, husband-stealing mermaids, women who turn periodically to stone: English writer Wood's debut collection is full of mysteries and inexplicable occurrences in domestic lives. The application of eye cream in "Of Mothers and Little People" reveals to a daughter a wholly different reason for her mother's behavior. "Notes from the House Spirits" gives voice to the inanimate and brings a strange perspective to human habitation. In "Lights in Other People's Houses," a ghostly shipwrecker arrives during a drought, filling an apartment with sand, pebbles and creeping damp. The sea is never far away in these narratives, sometimes as landscape--there's a Cornish flavor to the book--at others central to events, as in the title story, which takes an abandoned wife down deep to the ocean floor. Wood's tales often feature single females--unmarried women, deserted wives, perhaps the most memorable being Mrs. Tivoli in "Blue Moon," who changes into a hare. Weaker stories are desultory or a bit obvious, and there's an overreliance on vague endings, but at her strongest, Wood captures something fresh, fantastical and eloquent. Occasionally just fey, elsewhere convincingly unworldly, these stories express a distinctive voice and a gently beguiling imagination.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2012
        An otherworldly magic courses through the stories that comprise Wood's whimsical debut. The collection is set in Cornwall, and the characters who populate the stories live side by side with mythological creatures. In the title story, an elderly woman descends into the sea in a diving bell in hopes of recovering her husband, seduced away from her long ago by a mermaid. A woman who is in the process of turning into stone for a spell reluctantly goes house hunting with her ex-boyfriend. After trying her mother's eye cream, a young woman discovers the hidden meaning behind some of her mother's gestures and realizes just how off her interpretations were. A 12-year-old would-be giant wonders whether he'll ever grow to his full potential as he roams a moor filled with oversize bones. A couple who has just moved into a new apartment is visited by a wrecker, who rifles through their most personal possessions. Lovers of fairy tales and Celtic lore will take pleasure in immersing themselves in the rich, magical world Wood's tales inhabit.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

popularity
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In the tradition of Angela Carter, this luminous, spellbinding debut reinvents the stuff of myth.
Straying husbands lured into the sea by mermaids can be fetched back, for a fee. Trees can make wishes come true. Houses creak and keep a fretful watch on their inhabitants, straightening shower curtains and worrying about frayed carpets. A mother, who seems alone and lonely, may be rubbing sore muscles or holding the hands of her invisible lover as he touches her neck. Phantom hounds roam the moors and, on a windy beach, a boy and his grandmother beat back despair with an old white door.
In these stories, the line between the real and the imagined is blurred as Lucy Wood takes us to Cornwall's ancient coast, building on its rich storytelling history and recasting its myths in thoroughly contemporary ways. Calling forth the fantastic and fantastical, she mines these legends for that bit of magic remaining in all our lives—if only we can let ourselves see it.
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