Authors:Edith Davonna Juroe
Genres: fiction, fantasy, fairy tale
Short summary of the story: It's a complete retelling of the Red Riding Hood story which twists the tale completely. It's a mesh between Red Riding Hood and the The Beast of Gévaudan with choice elements taken from both. One of the biggest mysteries is the identify of the wolf itself. No one is above suspicion, even Scarlette herself.
Here is what Goodreads has to say about the book:
Ninety years before the Brothers Grimm penned their version of "Little Red Riding Hood," an historic, gruesome series of events shocked all of Europe. Starting in 1764, an unidentified wolf-like animal ferociously mauled dozens of peasants in the Gévaudan region of France.Whispered rumors of unnatural creatures blended with age-old superstition to cause mass hysteria.
Alarmed, King Louis XV sent his best huntsmen to rid the province of the beastly scourge, but this legendary massacre had only just begun. Scarlette, a 19-year-old seamstress who is laboring to make ends meet, lives under this dark threat. Although fearful of the nightmarish monster lurking in the surrounding forest, she remains naive and skeptical of the supernatural gossip.
Until her grandmother is attacked.
Scarlette learns that her grandmother has been infected by the animal's bite. Desperate to save her, Scarlette begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village and finds there are those who wish to keep their pasts hidden. As time grows short, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who both share an eerie history with the wolf. Scarlette must unravel the men's connection and solve a long-forgotten crime before her grandmother's infection spreads.
Based on both the traditional Grimm fairy-tale and older known French versions of "Little Red Riding Hood," this Gothic novel is set against the historic 18th century Beast of Gévaudan attacks in a modern, accessible prose style. Unique to the genre, the novel revives the fable of the girl-in-the-red-cloak with a new historical angle that blurs the line between folklore and reality.
My feelings on the book: I absolutely loved this book! The pacing was good, and even the 'romance' elements that I usually shy away from were done ins such a way that they seamlessly fit into the story. It is a much darker retelling of the classic tale, which probably is why it appeals to me so much. There is a lot crammed into the 326 pages of this book, and I would have gladly read that many more just to continue the story. To be fair, it did receive a lot of negative comments on Goodreads, but I honestly cannot see why.
To share one of my favourite quotes from the book:
“Sometimes the only way you can save someone is by doing nothing at a given moment.”