The Book of GothelMary McMyne
It is possible for a mother to love too much, for love to take over her heart like a weed does a garden, to spread its roots and proliferate until nothing else grows...
Haelewise has always lived under the shadow of her mother, Hedda—a woman who will do anything to keep her daughter protected. For with her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist, where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.
Then, Hedda dies, and Haelewise is left unmoored. When the villagers blame her for a deadly fever, she flees to the legendary tower in the Black Forest her mother used to speak of—a place called Gothel, where she meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing. But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It’s also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that just might explain why Haelewise keeps hearing her mother’s voice.
A dark and beautiful reimagining of Mother Gothel, the sorceress who stole away a girl named Rapunzel, The Book of Gothel is a lush fairytale, a heartbreaking romance, and above all a celebration of the relationship between mothers and daughters.
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Mary McMyne has published stories, poems, and essays in venues like Gulf Coast, Redivider, Chattahoochee Review, Strange Horizons, and Southern Humanities Review. Her debut poetry chapbook, Wolf Skin (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), won the Elgin Chapbook Award. She is the recipient of the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize for a Novel-in-Progress, a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and a fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, among other honors.