Story Title: ‘Two Girls Under an Apple Tree’ by Kate Brown
Collection/Anthology?: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology 3 (Bristol Review of Books Ltd.)
Date Read: 10 September 2010
Briefly: A sister tells the story of what happens when her sibling, Freija is ‘taken by the devil’.
Afterthoughts: Although you may think it at first, this story has nothing to do with unholy abduction (at least not in a physical sense). Rather it’s a tale of two sisters living in a devoutly religious household, and what can happen when lines are crossed. I won’t say more than that through fear of spoiling things, but I will say that Brown has created rather a good little story here. Brown’s bio says that she has lived in the Netherlands for ten years, and you can tell. There are some delicate little Dutch references in the story that both add to the feeling of cosmopolitan while giving the subtlest suggestion of ‘fairy tale’. If that’s not enough for you, then the story also comes with a clever little ending. Very enjoyable!
This story was read as part of a review of the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, Volume 3. If you want to find out more about this anthology then I invite you to head on over and read my ‘forethoughts’ post, and/or visit the the Bristol Short Story Prize website.