Here’s how I imagine it must have gone:
The woman went about her work calmly but with determination. Cupped in her hands before her, on the table, was a mysterious jewel; depending on the light in which and the angle from which viewed, sometimes the jewel glittered with color and sometimes seemed black enough to suck the air as well as the light from the room. The woman bent, and put her face over the jewel, and she breathed on it. As we watched, the jewel changed form, became a living, a visibly breathing creature.
It both made us clap, and scared the hell out of us…
The woman was Margo Lanagan; the jewel, the fairy tale of “Snow-White and Rose-Red.” And the creature? Oh my, the creature: Lanagan’s 2008 young-adult novel, Tender Morsels.
My review of this book is now online at The Book Book blog.