Candy is living a fairy tale dream. She has a rich husband who will buy her anything. She has a maid. She gets to have cocktail parties and trade banter with witty, rich, important people. Except… their friends are really his friends and, crazy or not, she sometimes feels like they watch her. It’s a problem because she keeps losing her shoes and her husband thinks bare feet are trashy.
She knows she should just tell him that she likes going barefoot and expect that he’d learn to love her just as she is, only he’s older and more sophisticated than she is, he takes such good care of her, and he loves her so much. Mostly, though, she’s afraid of what he’d do.
I’ll just say that this is a fascinating and refreshingly different take on an old myth. I knew in advance which myth it was, so I kept wondering just HOW Ms. Howson was going to take it there. As I read, I sympathized with Candy’s confusion. After the opening scene, you can’t help but feel concern for the girl. She can’t remember much of anything, but now it seems she’s going a bit nutty too. Then you meet Clym, her husband, and you start to realize that maybe she’s not the nutty one. Maybe there’s more going on than meets the eye. After all, he has some really strange reactions to something as simple as her going barefoot.
A few of the scenes were pure magic. Particularly one in the park, and one involving the maid. Things just got creepier as you fell deeper into this world. In the end, even with the creepy husband, Ms. Howson managed to make me feel for him. I think that’s a testament to good writing, especially considering the story was rather short. All I wish was that there would have been more of an ending. It felt a bit too open ended, especially with the intensity of the scene before. But perhaps she has more plans for them? That’d be kind of neat. And I adore the cover. It’s what really caught my attention in the first place. Overall, I give this story an: A-.
It’s available on Drollerie Press. They have many wonderful and different reading selections. If you’re interested in fairytales and myths, as I am, they’re definitely a place to check out.