Book Review – Cautionary Tales: Voices from the Edges by Emmanuelle de Maupassant
Every once in awhile, I stumble across a writer who seems to come from another time, a time before Fifty Shades of Grey and the endless stream of imitators that followed. Back to the days when strong, intelligent women with darkly-woven souls wrote thought-provoking, deep, and literary works of fiction.
Women like Sylvia Plath, Anais Nin, and Mary Shelley. The kind of women men feared and desired, repelled and attracted. Women who often wrote in secrecy, many of whom are still put down today by those who fear the power of their original voices screaming out into what remains largely a man’s literary world. The kind of voice you cannot help but notice, penning prose that makes you shiver, think about your inner landscape and demons, and inspires writers to be better themselves.
Most of you know I have been fighting a medical condition for the past several years, one that has prevented me from writing as I once did. I’ve filled the gap, and my craving for words, by reading and listening to audiobooks when my vision will not allow written words to be seen.
So, though I may be late to the party, I want to introduce you to Emmanuelle de Maupassant, author of Cautionary Tales.
“We are the voices in the shadows …”
Inspired by Eastern European and Russian superstitions and folklore, here are twelve tales. Darkly delicious imaginings for the adult connoisseur of bedtime stories.
Listen with your eyes,
and your lips.
Be drawn into a world where the boundaries between the everyday and the unearthly are snakeskin-thin, where the trees have eyes and the night has talons, where demons, drawn by the perfume of human vice and wickedness, lurk with intents malicious and capricious.
Listen with your skin
and your blood.
Here, the touching of your coat button as you pass through a graveyard can mean the difference between great fortune or eternal misfortune.
at the edges.
Tread carefully, for here the dark things best left behind in the forest may seep under your door and sup with you; the lover at your window or in your bed may have the scent of your death already on their breath.
We are the shiver on your uneasy flesh,
The creep of the unknown on your skin.
Whispered to you from the edges, from the haunted mouths of those who see more than you or I, here are twelve tales of lust and rivalry, of envy and deceit, and of secrets gouged from of the darkest depths of the human heart.
Is your shadow on the wall,
really yours, after all?
Emmanuelle de Maupassant strikes the pitch-perfect balance between rapacious sexuality and moral justice by using one to feed the other. She has done something unique with Cautionary Tales. She’s taken a literary tradition and transcribed it for the sexual landscape of the present day. – Malin James
Read more on Emmanuelle de Maupassant’s website, or purchase Cautionary Tales now.
The stories in this collection could have been written long ago by the Grimm brother’s darker sister. The one they locked in a shed with a box full of dusty nursery books and only let out when the moon was full.
They are loosely connected in tone and their morality based sentiments. Despite that (which, I admit, initially turned me off), they are sexy little tales one can imagine pouring from a feverish mind, filled with demons and sex, fantasy and horror of the best kind.
*Disclaimer. My opinions are my own. I never accept monetary compensation for book reviews, nor am I in any way affiliated with AMAZON. I receive nothing from them, or anyone else when I recommend a book or writer, other than the pleasure of sharing good books with other readers.