BookBound review The Red Gloves and Other Stories

  • Written by Catherine Fisher 
  • Published by Firefly Press 

Helen

I couldn’t wait to read this book,  The cover is amazing and I was drawn to it. 

The book consists of 9 different stories that are all magical. Of course you will have your own favourite story. My favourite one is the title story Red Gloves. In it, a girl buys a pair of second hand gloves, they are beautiful silk Red gloves. At the same the family are expecting Katy to stay, Katy is the friend the children made on holiday. But things go from bad to worse when strange things start to happen, and the friendship between the girls isn’t what they remember. 

It’s a wonderful collection of short stories.

Sam

As soon as I read the introduction inside this book, written by Catherine, who I absolutely love reading titles by, I was excited to begin my adventures that the nine short stories inside have to offer as I became intrigued by each story’s plot, and that they each varied from each other, so there is definitely something for everyone all within the one book, whether it be ghosts, mysteries, magical creatures,

I soon found there was one problem, and that was that each of the stories ended when I longed for them to continue. I became so immersed in each of the nine adventures that it genuinely felt like I had had the experiences relevant to each, that I knew the characters that feature within them, and that I had accompanied them as they discovered truths, solved mysteries, and had unbelievable journeys in doing so.

I honestly could not put this book down, and read long into the evening, during the early hours of the morning when my insomnia kicked in, and during the next day. I loved each of the stories equally, and found that their was consolation in knowing that although I had finished one of the tales a new one awaited, and Catherine writes with such a fabulous eye for details, and gives her writing such depth that I knew the next story in the book would be just as incredible as the one that had just ended.

The nine stories are –

  • The Silver Road
  • The Red Gloves
  • The Hare
  • The Changing Room
  • Sgilti Lightfoot
  • The Mirror
  • Nettle
  • Not Such a Bad Thing
  • Ghost in the Rain

The Silver Road is a fabulous opening story as it sets a spooky ambience through the telling of two brothers who have bonded over the recurring dream one of them has at night, always involving a mysterious road. The pair make notes upon waking to recall as much detail as possible, but always their goal is to cease the dreams from happening, especially as the nightly interruption is impacting more then just their sleep pattern.

There appears to be one significant rule to the dream, never divert from the road, and this becomes the issue when things come to a head for the brothers, with one of them in danger, and the other not knowing how or even if he can help. It is a read that has you gripped as it details the dilemma faced by the siblings, and through the vividness of the dream, and the mystery surrounding the onset of it just as much as the dreams setting, there is so much intrigue awaiting readers to the point of feeling as though you have had the same reading experience you would from a 200+ paged middle grade title, and all within a short story.

Another of the stories inside this brilliant collection, is Nettle. It has all the vibes of a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin (which the Brothers Grimm wrote as a retelling of folktales they were told of), with Catherine referring to her inspiration behind Nettle being that of an old English folktale called Yallery Brown. Nettle is an Imp creature that a young girl, Nia, releases from captivity, and she is subsequently rewarded with a wish. The consequences of that wish lead to further worries that she is keen to remedy via Nettle helping, and the fee for him doing so is that of her unborn sibling being handed over to him.

Nia comes to realise that one thoughtless decision has a knock on effect, and that her rush to then fix things with another short sighted request from a ‘magical’ and quite mysterious creature has a much more serious outcome, and only she can make things right again. In her realisation of the situation she now finds herself in Nia does outsmart the Imp, and when the story concludes you are relieved that Nia and her family are out of danger, and that her priorities are no longer self serving. The discovery of a strange creature, and the unknown consequences for her interactions with him make this an edge of your seat read, where you are willing Nia to do the right thing for her family in the same way that they are doing for her with the choices they make.

I couldn’t choose any one of these nine stories as my standout favourite because I loved the journey each of them took me on, and that they had my attention from the very first line, and continued to have me enthralled throughout. They may be short stories in length but that in no way detracts from the level of detail offered.

This would absolutely be a brilliant choice for reluctant yet capable readers, as they will appreciate the shorter reads this book contains, and that adventure awaits them in each of the stories, and this is also a fantastic choice for children looking to explore more from the world of children’s literature, with the potential to read more relating to each of the stories through the inspiration behind them, or indeed that which they consequently inspired, such as The Ghost in the Rain, the final story in this book, which inspired Catherine’s must read middle grade title The Clockwork Crow, which is the first in a brilliant trilogy.

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