A House of Candy and Transformation
A review of Daryl Gregory’s “Even the Crumbs were Delicious” in The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales ( Ed. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, Saga Press, 2016)
Hansel and Gretel is a tale that entwines poverty and childhood and its popularity for revision illustrates the endurance of the narrative of child poverty. In “Even the Crumbs Were Delicious”, Daryl Gregory tells a tale of homeless, abused, and rejected children who are in search of food… but more importantly, they seek an escape that can be provided by the candy house… especially this kind of candy.
The best send-off that Tindal could think of for Rolfe was to take Rolfe’s drug printer and print drugs over the entire inside of his apartment, but Tindal didn’t expect that he would find those walls of drugs being consumed by street kids. As the random cocktail of drugs pumps through the veins of a boy and a girl, they begin to shift into a familiar tale, seeing Tindal as a witch who has captured them through magic, and perhaps he does weave a form of magic over them (in addition to the magic of drugs), because they undergo transformations in perception around their circumstances.
But, Tindal also undergoes transformations, both in the drug-addled eyes of the children and in his own perception of himself and his place in the world. Tindal, in trying to do what every adult does – return children to their parents, but, through that process he discovers that childhood can be far more painful and far more challenging than he can imagine.
To discover more about the work of Daryl Gregory, visit https://darylgregory.com/
To find out more about The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, visit http://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/The-Starlit-Wood/Dominik-Parisien/9781481456142