cover image Mothers of Enchantment

Mothers of Enchantment

Kate Wolford. World Weaver, $15.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-73405-456-9

Wolford (Beyond the Glass Slipper) brings together 12 stories of fairy godmothers in this cute but uneven fairy tale anthology. Michelle Tang’s sweet tearjerker “Wishes to Heaven” is the high point, mixing fairy tale logic and Chinese folk practices to excellent effect, and featuring a delightfully punny, insectoid “fairy godmoth.” Other standouts include Kelly Jarvis’s clever “A Story of Soil and Stardust,” which recasts Cinderella’s godmother as the witch Baba Yaga, and Carter Lappin’s fizzy “Modern Magic,” about a Starbucks-sipping, skinny jeans–wearing godmother who helps a down-on-her-luck artist impress at her high school reunion. Unfortunately, not all the entries are so sure-footed. Kim Malinowski’s choppy “Flick: The Fairy Godmother” reads like a children’s book, offering no real twists in its obvious, elementary plot. Claire N. Thomas’s unresolved “In the Name of Gold” abruptly ends with a moral about agency unsupported by the rest of the story. And Marshall Moore’s “Real Boy” purports to retell Pinocchio, but merely summarizes it. Still, it’s a charming concept, and Wolford’s love for fairy godmother tropes shines. Fans of contemporary fairy tales will find this worth a look. (May)