Diving Belles – What’s it all about?:
Diving Belles is Lucy Wood’s first work, and a collection of short stories that all have a sense of the “magical” about them which is why it appealed so strongly to me. The title story involves a lonely old woman whose husband has been spirited away by the sea, and she must pay a fee to be taken down to the sea bed in a diving bell in order to search for and entice him back onto the land again.
What did I think?:
This is the third story in my Short Stories Challenge, please see my previous post HERE. I have completely fallen in love with Lucy Wood’s style of storytelling. She had me aptly squirming like a fish on a hook – intrigued to know more, and desperate for the story not to end. The reader isn’t quite sure what to expect at the beginning… an old lady goes down to see a shipwreck, but she appears to be searching for something… and it turns out to be her husband, who seems to have been spirited away by the mer-people. However, this is never stated explicitly by the author, and, at the beginning, it just seems to be your average (sad) story about a bereaved widow. She still reaches for him in the night, she sees things that are perhaps not really there, and it is clear she loves and misses him terribly. So then we get the mystical, surreal and absolutely beautiful fairy-tale element to the story which was so evocatively written for me, I could almost taste the sea-salt. I’m not going to spoil the end of the story, and will leave you in suspense as to whether she finds her husband in the end, but I urge everyone to read this, purely if you enjoy suspending your disbelief and have a soft spot for the other-wordly. If the rest of the stories in the collection are like this one, I am in for a treat!
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):
NEXT SHORT STORY: The Blue Summit – Randy Taguchi, from the collection Fujisan