Quirky and enchanting with a twist of darkness, the short stories in Lucy Wood's, Diving Belles, span the spectrum from strange to really strange. There are husbands who leave their wives for mermaids, a woman slowly turning to stone, and a house that keeps an eye on its inhabitants. These stories are revamped versions of old mythologies that Wood has taken and made into her own. She sets a strong tone with each story and is able to create distinct worlds that seem to bleed the ocean and smell of the salty sea air. Her characters are fascinating and unforgettable.
One of the characters that I could not get out of my mind was Iris from the short story titled, Diving Belles.:
"She fretted with her new dress and her borrowed shoes. She tried to smooth her white hair, which turned wiry when it was close to water. The wooden bench was digging into her and the wind was rushing up her legs, snagging at the dress and exposing the map of her veins. She'd forgotten tights; she always wore trousers and knew it was a mistake to wear a dress. She'd let herself get talked into it, but had chosen brown, a small victory. She'd gathered the skirt up and sat on it. If this was going to be the first time she saw her husband in forty-eight years she didn't want to draw attention to the state of her legs. 'You've got to be heartbreaking as hell,' Demelza advised her customers, pointing at them with a cigarette. 'Because you've got a lot of competition down there.' "
I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is a fan of the short story or a fan of magical realism. You will not be disappointed!
Here is a link to the TLC website, which has the list of all the other bloggers participating in the Diving Belles book tour. Check it out!