Review of “Wives’ Tales” by Marjorie Maddox

Seven Kitchens Press, 2017. Paperback 27 pp.

reviewed by David J. Bauman

Imagine if the brothers Grimm had a modern sister. Think of Sondheim’s lyrics from Into the Woods expanded to include the stories of Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire Cat, along with Peter Rabbit‘s wife. If you can envision all of this, you’ll be just at the beginning of preparing yourself for the darkness and humor of Marjorie Maddox’s chapbook, Wives’ Tales.

In the first section, entitled “The Tales,” we meet a cast of fairy tale characters including Goldilocks, the Three Bears, the Wolf of Little Red Riding hood fame as well as the shepherd’s wolf from “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” But these and others come a bit colored and skewed from how we usually view them. Here we learn “The Truth about Mother Goose,” that “She is no peasant woman . . . she is a fine-feathered horror.”