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The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales (2013)

af Kate Mosse

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
14210151,861 (3.65)10
The perfect winter story collection from the No.1 bestselling author of LABYRINTH, SEPULCHRE and CITADEL. A wonderfully atmospheric collection of stories from one of our most captivating writers, inspired by ghost stories, traditional folk tales and country legends from England and France. These tales are richly populated by spirits and ghosts seeking revenge; by grief-stricken women and haunted men coming to terms with their destiny - all rooted deep in the elemental landscapes of Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc. The collection includes The Mistletoe Bride, La Fille de Melisande, Red Letter Day, The Lending Library, The House on the Hill...… (mere)
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Engelsk (9)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (10)
Viser 1-5 af 10 (næste | vis alle)
I so badly wanted to love this book, but aside from one short story, I was a bit disappointed. Not one I have read twice. ( )
  TS_Simons | Jan 22, 2021 |
Well this was a surprise. My only previous work by Mosse was Labryinth, which I thought was an awful, overblown, sprawling disaster of a book. These were nothing like that work. In the short form there is no space for the muddled multilayered story that I had read previously. In this format, she has to remain much more focussed and it does wonders for her writing. It was a revelation.
The book consisted of stories that all had an air of menace, or of the otherwordly. Usually with a protagonist at a low ebb, or vulnerable in some way. It is well done, and only in one story did I feel that she'd stretched the possible too far.

The Mistletoe Bride is narrated by the soul of a bride who goes missong on her Christmas wedding night and is only found once it is far too late.
Duet was a most unusual story that sounds a lot like a therapy session, but turns out it is not at all what you imagine
Red Letter Day is one that has her protagonist at the lowest ebb encountering something otherworldly in the haunting city of Carcassonne. Sad, but not without a certain rightness.
The Drowned Village is one of old folk myth and the fate of an island that vanished beneath the waves.
The House on the Hill is the one that I'm struggling to place.
Why the Yew Tree Lives So Long was by far my favourite. Just magical.
Sainte- Terése is set in Languedoc, but could be almost anywhere. A woman in an unhappy marriage finds solace and more in a church.
The Ship of the Dead is based on an old Breton legend, which I was not aware of. It was quite unexpected and probably the most scary of the set.
La Fille de Mélisande takes Debussy’s opera Pelleas et Mélisande and imagines how the events may have affected Melisande's daughter, born as her mother dies.
The Revenant is set not 5 miles from my home village, so this was immediately recognisable to me, the marshes I grew up with were brought to life. A crime in the past comes back to haunt the family involved. It says as much about how small communities act and react and how no event is ever entirely fotgotten.
On Harting Hill is about another place (in this case a road) that I know well. And, from the author's note, I can see exactly where she was comming from in this one. It was excellently done.
The Princess Alice is a sad tale of a family decimated by an accident and the fact that these are forgotten - not in this case, with a diary comming into the hand of an avid bookworm.
In the Theatre at Night is surely based on that child's belief that their toys come alive after bedtime. In this case it is not toys, but the costumes and props in a theatre. Lovely and gentle as a story.
The Yellow Scarf was related to the first story, making reference to it and is the least sucessful, to my mind, of the collection. In this case the future finds a way to interact with and change the past. Not for me.
The final tale is set in New York and is again about a woman at her lowest ebb, only this time it has a different ending to that in Red Letter Day.

I listened to this, read by a pair of narrators and it worked expecially well. Each was accompanied by an author's note, in which she explained the origin of the story, or the background as to how it came to be written.

This was not at all what I expected, it was far far better than that. I must have been unlucky in picking Labrynth as my first exprience of her writing. This outstrips that by a country mile. ( )
  Helenliz | Oct 15, 2019 |
Mystery rather crime fiction.

This volume contains 14 short stories and a short play.
Each short story is accompanied by an account of what inspired the writing of it, whether it is connected to local folklore, and when it was published.
This was Kate Mosse's first collection of short stories, and only 6 of them had been published before.

The author says "What they have in common is a protagonist is a state of crisis, someone whose emotional state makes them more susceptible to experiences or happenings outside everyday life. They are men and women who, for a moment at least, have slipped between the cracks of the physical world we can see and understand and into a shadow world that may or may not exist."

I love short stories. The bonus was to find out what was behind the writing of it.
Most were historical, maybe a little Gothic, in flavour, and a bit Poe-ish.

The ones I liked best were The Misteltoe Bride, The Drowned Village, and the House on the Hill. ( )
  smik | Aug 26, 2019 |
Lovely collection of unsettling short stories. Mosse is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
‘’All houses wherein men have lived and died are haunted houses. Through the open doors the harmless phantoms on their errands glide, with feet that make no sound upon the floors.’’
From ‘’Haunted Houses’’
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I discovered the beauty of Kate Mosse’s’ writing when I read The Taxidermist’s Daughter. That book quickly became one of my very favourites. The Gothic elements, the British Marshes, the darkness in the people’s soul. My search to read more of her work brought me to this beautiful collection where spectres beyond this world meet the ghosts that lurk in our souls.

‘’The Mistletoe Bride’’ : The well-known tale of the bride who was locked in a chest during her wedding night.

‘’Duet’’: An unusual duet, a psychological tale, beautifully echoing one of Poe’s most popular stories.

‘’Red Letter Day’’ : A tale crossing the boundaries of time, set in the haunting city of Carcassonne.

‘’The Drowned Village’’: A bittersweet story set in Brittany that brought to my mind the tales of St. Mark’s Eve which was described in beautiful detail in The Taxidermist’s Daughter.

‘’The House on the Hill’’ : Yes, this story is as mysterious and engaging as its title.

‘’Why the Yew Tree Lives So Long’’ : A beautiful text, an ode to the mysterious yew tree.

‘’Sainte- Terése’’ : Another story from Languedoc. A woman trapped in a suffocating relationship finds comfort in the most unusual of places.

‘’The Ship of the Dead’’ : A self-explanatory title, and perhaps, the scariest tale in the collection. Set in Brittany.

‘’La Fille de Mélisande’’ : A beautiful tale that is inspired by Debussy’s opera Pelleas et Mélisande.

‘’The Revenant’’ : A tale set in the Fishbourne Marshes, in Sussex, where The Taxidermist’s Daughter is set. A wintery tale of mists and sins of the past, containing many elements that made me believe it paved the way for Mosse’s extraordinary novel.

‘’On Harting Hill’’: A beautiful rendition of the Vanishing Hitchhiker legend.

‘’The Princess Alice’’: The sad story of a doomed family. This story contains a lovely scene, where the main character is browsing books in the middle of a storm,lost in her own world. Every bookworm will find this moment familiar. .

‘’In the Theatre at Night’’: When I was a child, I had this weird notion that my toys certainly came alive while I was sleeping, at those hours of the night when the world falls silent. (The fact that I grew up with Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker didn’t really help…) When I became an adult -theoretically speaking- and up to this day, I want to believe that theatres come alive once the lights go out and the backstage door is locked. This is a beautiful,poetic text, an hymn to Theatre and the tangible connections between the Past and the Present.

‘’The Yellow Scarf’’: The last story in the collection that brings the course full circle. We meet the Bride amidst the fight of the civil war.

‘’Syrinx’’: The first short play by Mosse, a story of women who were wronged and who wronged others in their turn. I can't say I was impressed by it. In my opinion, it didn't fit in the collection, it lacked the atmosphere and the beauty of the previous tales.

This is one of the most beautiful collection of stories I've ever read. The language is beautiful, sometimes raw, always poetic, dark and thick as the mists that cover the landscapes where the hauntings take place. The illustrations by Rohan Daniel Eason are eerie and powerful in their simplicity and depict the essence of each story perfectly. And they’re scary, I guarantee you that, There were two-three tales that had me looking over shoulder during the night.

I never, ever comment on reviews, but there were two things that attracted my attention and I just can't keep silent tonight. :). I read a comment in how the stories are clichéd. They’re not. If you feel you had read something similar before, you are correct. Mosse has taken well-known tales and legends and presented her own image. If that is what ‘’cliché’’ means, then every book ever written on King Arthur is clichéd as well. She explains her source of inspiration in Author’s Notes at the end of each tale, which brings me to a comment about how this technique diminished the magic of the stories. No, in my opinion, it adds up to it and makes us want to search for even more sources and versions of the legends. If we bother, that is…

Do you know what made me appreciate this collection so much? The feeling of hope it inspires. Yes, we have darkness and death and injustice, but we have also hope, the human strength to overcome not only the ghosts of a supernatural universe, but the hauntings of our actions and wrongdoings that are far more resilient than their spectral kins.And once we overcome those, then there are too few things to be afraid of..If you want gore and jump scares and ‘’boos’’ in the dark, then this collection won’t suit your interests. If you love the haunting kind of beauty and a proper look into the human psyche, then read this book on a winter's night, on Midsummer’s Eve, on Halloween, on a stormy evening... ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
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I expect to pass through this world but once;
any good thing therefore that I can do,
or any kindness that I can show to any fellow human being,
let me do it now; let me not defer nor neglect it,
for I shall not pass this way again.

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The perfect winter story collection from the No.1 bestselling author of LABYRINTH, SEPULCHRE and CITADEL. A wonderfully atmospheric collection of stories from one of our most captivating writers, inspired by ghost stories, traditional folk tales and country legends from England and France. These tales are richly populated by spirits and ghosts seeking revenge; by grief-stricken women and haunted men coming to terms with their destiny - all rooted deep in the elemental landscapes of Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc. The collection includes The Mistletoe Bride, La Fille de Melisande, Red Letter Day, The Lending Library, The House on the Hill...

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