Review by Kelly Jarvis: The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie
The Forest Grimm begins with an evocative phrase: “Tell me again, Grandmere, the story of how I die.”
Kathryn Purdie’s prologue opens when the novel’s narrator, Clara, is only nine. Her grandmother has already foreseen her future, which includes a premature death, in a deck of cards, and Clara longs to change her fate. When she learns her mother, Rosamund, has been given the same reading, she is willing to sacrifice her own life to ensure her mother lives to old age.
The novel then leaps ahead seven years. An adolescent Clara is haunted by her mother who is one of 66 people lost in the Forest Grimm. The residents of Grimm Hollow, a village at the edge of the forest, were once blessed with a book that allowed them to make their wishes and dreams come true, but have now been cursed by someone who used the book for nefarious purposes. Each Devotion Day a hero is chosen to enter the forest and find the Lost Ones, locate the Book of Fortunes, and lift the curse on the town. Clara longs to be the hero who can save her mother’s life.
The Forest Grimm is a Young Adult adventure filled with fairy tale references. There are red capes, rampion, wolves, stone towers, castles, and spinning wheels. The protagonists come across Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and Cinderella as they travel through the Forest Grimm. The book explores life, death, fate, love, loss, and time, ending with a promise of more to come. This is a fun read for fairy tale fans and those who love a coming-of-age story.
You can find the book here.
Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
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.