The Bloody Chamber
Angela Carter
Short story/novelette

I got this book as a recommendation for fairy tale retellings in a darker tone. So far I am absolutely in love.

Three wives dead, one never found in a boating accident and the story is called “The Bloody Chamber”? It got darker the further I read.

Her new husband is thoroughly obsessed with a ruby choker he gave her, especially while he is taking her virginity and he forces her to wear it. It was his grandmother’s and was used as a fancy version of the red ribbons for Madame Guillotine fashion during the French Revolution.

As soon as he showed her his ring of keys, and the one he doesn’t want her to use, I knew the story was the tale of Bluebeard who has a room full of dead wives. I didn’t even think that he was setting her up for failure by enticing her with the key. He wanted her to disobey.

It ends too deus ex machina with her mother riding in to save the day. Angela Carter even writes that it was too easy because she says the mother had ‘maternal telepathy.’

The writing got a little flowery for me and I just wanted faster paced prose, but overall it was a beautiful story and I’m really looking forward to the others.

Some of my favorite lines:

“A choker of rubies, two inches wide, like an extraordinarily precious slit throat.” – Page 6

“After the dreadful revelation of that bloody chamber, it was his tender look that made me faint.” – Page 33