The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

 The Ladies of Grace Adieu cover

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories by Susanna Clarke has been in my bedroom for years, waiting for me to pick it up and start reading it. I know I mentioned it on ‘pining’ yonks ago and Michelle from In the Silver Room wondered what I would think of it as she had read the book. But I have no idea what Michelle thought of it, Jack read it before I did, it’s more his sort of thing really – a bit weird. But as it happens he wasn’t a big fan either. It’s fantasy – which he isn’t as keen on as compared to Science Fiction.

If you watched Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell on the TV recently you’ll get an idea of what this book is like. The blurb on the back from the Spectator says “These tales read as if Jane Austen had rewritten the Brothers Grimm…. wonderful”

Each to their own but for me these stories don’t really have anything particularly magical about them. I like fairy tales, they’re usually about warnings of how to stay safe and avoid the bad guys, but I obviously prefer things to be more traditional with proper fairies including wands and wishes, the ones in these stories don’t really seem to be much different from the humans. However, it’s about a week since I finished reading the book and I have to say that none of it has stuck in my mind, so I think it’s fair to say that it just wasn’t for me, but it might be just the thing for you – you never know!

Have you read anything by Susanna Clarke, if so what did you think of it and has the story stayed with you?

4 thoughts on “The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

  1. I have read both Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories. I had to look back at my blog to see what I thought at the time. I read The Ladies etc in 2007 (and Jonathan Strange etc about 2005), so it’s no surprise that I couldn’t remember much about the short stories. I see that I did like the book, mainly I think because they took me back to the magical world of those fairy stories I read as a child. Of the two books I preferred Jonathan Strange (which I read before I began blogging).

    Just in case you’d like to see my post from 2007 here’s the link

    • Margaret,
      Thanks for the link. You obviously got a lot more out of this book than I did, and our reading tastes are usually so similar too. I’m not a big fan of fantasy but I felt that I could have been doing with this one being more fantastical, as I do love old fairy tales.

  2. I read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell years ago soon after it first came out and I remember really enjoying it. I loved the combination of fantasy and history. The Ladies of Grace Adieu has never sounded very appealing to me, though – maybe because I’m just not a big fan of short stories.

    • Helen,
      I might have enjoyed a novel more, although I’m not averse to short stories now and again. Having watched Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell on TV recently I wouldn’t bother to read the book now, although I quite enjoyed the series.

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