Fairytales have always fascinated me. From a young age I remember reading Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and it left me enchanted and disturbed. Fairytales are a gift of escapism. You can indulge in fantasies and discover worlds far beyond our own mere mortal one.
Today on the blog I am reviewing The Forgotten And Fantastical 5 Edited By Teika Bellamy. A big thank you to the publishers Mother’s Milk Books for my copy to review, always appreciated, thank you.
Prepare yourself dear reader, watch out, for the wolves and moor folk, pray you don’t cross their paths…
Mother’s Milk Books
Mother’s Milk Books is run by at-home mother, Dr. Teika Bellamy, who founded the press in 2011. Mother’s Milk Books receives no grant funding and the press survives through sales of books, cards and artwork, as well as the generosity of a small number of individuals who have invested money in the press over the years since it was founded.
The first title, Musings on Mothering, edited by Teika, was published in September 2012 and sold over 300 copies in the first two weeks after publication – quite a feat for a small press publishing a book on a supposedly ‘niche’ topic! This charity anthology of art, poetry and prose about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding continues to raise funds for La Leche League GB, a much-loved UK breastfeeding support charity.
Since that first book was published the list of titles has grown, and Teika has had the pleasure of publishing a number of wonderful authors.
About The Editor
Dr. Teika Bellamy is an ex-scientist and mother-of-two. As the founder and managing editor of Mother’s Milk Books, Teika was the recipient of the 2015 Women in Publishing’s New Venture Award for pioneering work on behalf of under-represented groups in society; Mother’s Milk Books was also long listed in the 2016 Saboteur Awards category ‘Most Innovative Publisher’. Teika is a popular speaker who is passionate about the role of independent presses and women authors within the publishing world. Alongside her publishing work she blogs at The Book Stewards with her husband, Tom, about all aspects of publishing and writing, and facilitates workshops at Nottingham Writers’ Studio. In 2018 she was the recipient of the 2018 NWS Writing Teacher of the Year award. A writer herself, she has been widely published under the pen-name of Teika Marija Smits.
The Forgotten And Fanatical 5
The fifth in the series of The Forgotten and the Fantastical brings you wolves and glass and altered reality. A grandmother remembers what it was like to be in the belly of a wolf; a newly wed wife is revolted by her billionaire husband; a mother protects her child from the cunning Folk of the Mound, and women young and old go in search of a better life.
Features new writing from: Becky Cherriman, Noel Chidwick, Carys Crossen, Donna M Day, Rosie Garland, Kim Gravell, Katie Gray, Sarah Hindmarsh, Jonty Levine, Keris McDonald, Angela Readman, Louise Richards, Marija Smits, Aliya Whiteley.
This is the 5th book in the series of The Forgotten and Fantastical. It conjures up wolves, untold fairytales, legs made of glass and what it means to be human. This is a delicious mix of modern fables and ancient tales that echo the words of those that have faded. These are not the fairytales you want to tuck your child up with at night dear reader. No, these are the tales that were meant to remain buried, never to be found. Forgotten.
I was bewitched the moment my eyes landed on the page. Each story is enchanting and leaves you yearning for more. There are tales of strong women, fighting for what they believe in and becoming whoever they need to be in order to survive. You witness the choice of opting not to upgrade and follow the crowd. We watch whole worlds take shape inside a simple paperweight. This book exposes your mind to the elements of fantasy and dark, gothic times. The deeper you wonder, the more you desire. It’s hypnotic and will leave you transfixed by each and every story. Just fantastic dear reader.
There are a number of themes entwined throughout these stories. They not only engage the reader but unlock their imagination, setting it free to run away and dance wildly into the woods. There is a great essence of shifting identity and giving freedom from the gender and sexual norm. A dash of Shakespeare with a girl posing as a boy in order to have more opportunities available to her. It questions what it means to be human and reflects on our strange behaviour. We are always forcing ourselves into shapes we were never designed to fit. We also allow so easily the words of others to change how we think of ourselves. It’s a constant battle we fight to be anything but human, trying to shed our outer skin and emerge transformed and all to keep up appearances in fear that people will talk.
My favourite story of this collection would have to be Pelt. I have always enjoyed the tale of Red Riding Hood but always felt sorry for the poor wolf. He was just hungry and doing what a wolf does naturally, eat. It had never occurred to me to think of how the grandmother would feel after the events. When you really sit and think about it, that is the sort of experience that would cause major PTSD and depression. I loved reading how she felt after. She begins to see and smell things differently. It opened my mind to a number of different scenarios and new meaning in the much beloved tale. It breathed new life into a old-time classic and a fresh, new way of viewing the story.
I also loved reading The Glass Slipper and seeing Cinderella in a new light, as a thief with the Godmother being the head of the gang. It made perfect sense and was a brilliant twist. I wanted to learn more of the story and enjoyed seeing the ugly stepsisters take on a different stance. Trust me, you have got to read it. It’s genius.
I give The Forgotten And The Fantastical 5 Edited By Teika Bellamy a Five out of Five paw rating.
An intense and sensual read that one has to sample to truly appreciate. All the writers offer you a goblet of their enchantingly brewed potions to savour. Each one a variety of ingredients, love, freedom, hate, lust all mixed to the rhythm of a forgotten and fantastical song.
Hop hop wiggle wiggle