The Blue Lenses and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier ****
I love Daphne du Maurier’s books, and her short stories are especially powerful. This collection, also published as The Breaking Point and Other Stories, promises ‘eight stories which explore the half-forgotten world of childhood fantasies and subtle dreams’. This quote, coupled with the tales in The Birds and Other Stories, the first of du Maurier’s story collections which I read, made me hope for rather a dark and memorable collection, and that, I am pleased to say, is exactly what I was met with. Each plotline throughout was surprising, and the twists and turns made me unable to guess what was about to happen. The tales were startling and full of power, and I very much enjoyed them all for different reasons.
Weight by Jeanette Winterson ****
The two books which I’ve read in the Canongate Myths series so far (Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad and Ali Smith’s Girl Meets Boy) have been great. Both were very imaginative stories, and I thus had high hopes for Winterson’s offering to the series. Her chosen story, a retelling of the myth of Atlas and Heracles told in her distinct and unique way, was a marvellous addition to the oeuvre. The different narrative techniques used throughout complemented with one another, and I loved the way in which the story was presented. The inclusion of a concurrent present day story running alongside Winterson’s interpretation of the myth worked well. My only qualm with Weight is that there were perhaps a few too many sexually explicit scenes woven in which were not really necessary, but it is a great read nonetheless.
Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare **
I didn’t find Love’s Labour’s Lost as intriguing or interesting as the majority of Shakespeare’s other plays. The storyline, whilst interesting, did not quite hook me from the outset, as most of his other work has done. The plot often felt overshadowed by other elements, and I did not feel that it was as developed as I was expecting it to be. I liked Moth as a character, but he did not feature enough for my liking. I shall be watching the film version on my boyfriend’s recommendation, but at present, this sadly ranks amongst my least favourite Shakespeare plays.