The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales
By: Kate Mosse
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
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.
So I’ve been on something of a roll with catching up and reading everything by Kate Mosse. I read her Languedoc trilogy first, which I greatly enjoyed. More recently I got around to finally reading The Winter Ghosts (review). And now here we are, with her collection of short stories 🙂
The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales is quite a collection of short stories and tales. I was surprised by how many short stories this collection contained (I was expecting a lesser number than what was included in here). The stories (and one play) featured here are much what you’d find her Kate Mosse’s novels–ghost stories, stories of loss and journeys, folk tales from England and France, many of the settings in the south of France as well as Brittany and parts of England–so it’s a pretty good starting place for new readers if you’re not sure what to start with her books. What I really love is how she added after each story an “Author’s Note” where she talked about where she got the inspiration for the story or if the story was included in an anthology or was written for an event. The artwork included at the title pages of each story were also fantastic and sets the mood to the stories.
Like any short story collection, I do have my favourites: “The Mistletoe Bride”, “The Drowned Village”, “Why the Yew Trees Live So Long”, “Sainte-Therese”, “The Ship of the Dead”, “La Fille de Melisande”, and “In the Theatre at Night.”
Overall The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales was a great collection perfect indeed for those winter days (fortunate that I read it when I did because we indeed got hit with a bit of a snow storm). As I mentioned it’s a good starting place if you’ve never read anything by Kate Mosse. To those who have read her books, they don’t exactly offer anything new per se, though reading the play was interesting as a different medium, but nonetheless they are as haunting and mysterious as her other works.