The Girl Who Believed in Fairy Tales by Heidi Garrett is a compilation of three short stories, “The Girl Who Watched for Elves,” “The Girl Who Dreamed of Red Shoes,” and “The Girl Who Couldn’t Sing.” I am a huge fan of books that take well-known fairy tales and twist them into something new or of stories that create new fairy tales. I have entire shelf dedicated to these types of books on GoodReads.
I really struggled with The Girl Who Believed in Fairy Tales. All three stories are apparently about the same woman, Heather. However, her name is barely mentioned in any of the stories. I actually thought the stories were about three separate women. Since only the barest bits of knowledge where shared about Heather and it wasn’t clear that the stories were about a specific woman, I found it hard to connect with the lead (or leads). The narrator seemed too omniscient and unwilling to share details about who the stories were about. Leaving me out in the cold wondering what and who I was reading about.
I also had a hard time seeing how the woman in each of the short stories was using fairy tales when times get tough. I’m not sure the transition between the real world and fantasy world was well played out as described on the back of the book. It was hard to tell that the lead in each story was using fairy tales to cope or as learning experiences. And the happy endings, usually the last “chapter” or section, seemed like an after thought to tie up loose ends or give the reader the expected “Happily Ever After” outcome.
Sadly, while the title, cover and description of The Girl Who Believed in Fairy Tales by Heidi Garrett had me excited. I was disappointed by the disconnect between what was described and what was actually delivered. The Girl Who Believed in Fairy Tales gets a thumbs down.