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  • The Fairy Tale Magazine

Book Review: Weep, Woman, Weep by Maria DeBlassie

Updated: May 10, 2023

Weep, Woman, Weep tells the compelling story of a young woman named Mercy who believes she has been “built for tears”. Growing up in a semi-rural small town on the banks of the Rio Grande river in New Mexico, Mercy has witnessed suffering of women who have been “claimed” by La Llorona, the legendary ghost who once drowned her own daughters and now looks to drag new victims into a watery grave. Mercy and her best friend Sherry dream of escape, and it is only after years of fear and setbacks that Mercy discovers a way to cultivate new growth from the collected tears of her pain.

In DeBlassie’s hands, La Llorona is both a terrifying legend and a metaphor for generational trauma. The Weeping Woman haunts puddles and waterways, but she is also a mythic presence that keeps women frightened and subservient. To combat La Llorona, Mercy must learn to listen to the land, cultivating a garden and learning to balance her independence with the joys of true romance. She must understand her mother’s pain without succumbing to it, and her journey to find and harness her own powers is poignant and inspiring. This story blurs the line between the mythic and the ordinary, locating magic in seeds, soil, flowers, music, and kindness.

I loved Mercy’s voice which narrates the novella. Mercy is honest in describing the beauties and horrors of the world around her and she wields a humorous control over own revelations, reminding the reader that this “is {her} story, and {she’ll} tell it the way {she} wants”. The themes of DeBlassie’s novel are also beautifully explored in her books Everyday Enchantment, a series of essays and vignettes that helps readers to see, learn from, and create magic, and Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide To Magical Living, which is an instructional personal narrative about reclaiming identity and practicing sustainable routines that lead to a life of enchantment.

Maria DeBlassie expertly explores loneliness and helps her readers transform the broken into the beautiful. Weep, Woman, Weep is aptly described as “a Gothic fairy tale about ancestral hauntings”, and it teaches readers that “we are the seeds we plant, not the histories forced upon us”. The magic and hope Weep, Woman, Weep offers will stay with readers long after they finish the final page.

You can find the book here.

Kelly Jarvis is the Special Projects Writer and Contributing Editor for The Fairy Tale Magazine. Her work has appeared in Eternal Haunted Summer, Blue Heron Review, Forget-Me-Not Press, Mermaids Monthly, The Chamber Magazine, and Mothers of Enchantment: New Tales of Fairy Godmothers. She teaches at Central Connecticut State University.


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