Firstly, a huge thank you to Titan Books for sending over a copy of The Girl in Red*.
Basically, I loved this.
I've been interested in this title for ages, pretty much since I first heard about it at the start of the year. Mainly because my dissertation topic is the portrayal of gender within the Red Riding Hood fairytale and secondly I really love Christina Henry. I can't wait to start analysing this within my dissertation. There are so many interesting points and unique takes on this fairytale included. Yes, I spent my time reading this massively geeking out.
Our 'Red Riding Hood' is Cordelia, though she hates that name and prefers to go by Red much to her mother's chagrin. She is a mixed-race, twenty-year-old amputee (below the knee). Oh, and she may be either gay or bi on account of her mentioning she had a girlfriend. CAN THERE BE ANY MORE DIVERSITY? Frankly, this is what really attracted me to this particular retelling of Red Riding Hood. The original myth focuses heavily on the fact that a female is alone and therefore helpless. Instead within this novel the fact that Red is a girl is often somewhat negligible and instead, it is her prosthetic that people assume hampers her ability to look after herself. Which is, of course, a complete fallacy and frankly ridiculous. Time and time again Red calls people out for this ableist assumption and proves just how well she can look after herself and those around her.
The entire premise of the book centres around the fact there has been some kind of outbreak of a disease that is killing people. It starts out as a cough and progresses to where the victim seems to haemorrhage, quite grim reading I must say. Red and her family decide that the best idea to avoid this was to leave the populated areas and instead head to her grandma's self-sufficient cabin in the woods. The dystopian element in this novel meshed so well into the framework of the original narrative and there were other elements of this 'outbreak' revealed later on in this novel that I can't wait to discuss.
An absolutely phenomenal take on a classic story.
Name: The Girl in Red*
Author(s): Christina Henry
Publisher: Titan Books
Have you read The Girl in Red*I?
What did you think?
Thank you for reading,