In Twisting Tales, Clare Le May gives us a colourful collection of gems that sparkle, polished to a fine finish. But these tales are unsafe, taking us from the everyday into the realms of fantasy where they weave a disconcerting magic. They are deceptive - compact and economical, they nevertheless conjure worlds of many layers, in a voice that echoes with poetic resonance.
Unusual things happen: shoes talk, young and old take flight in unexpected ways, the ultimate disguise is possible, but the hunter becomes the hunted. And along the way we meet an eclectic mix of characters, including nursery rhyme figures, an agony uncle and the creator of a universe who wants to jack the whole thing in. The results are dark, with a truth that belies the whimsical facade. Peer at them closely and you might glimpse a reflection that looks familiar.
Beautifully crafted, each of these short stories will get under your skin and, tantalisingly, you may not know why. A fascinating first collection, it is the product of a distinctive and powerful imagination. This is a deceptively light read that is no lightweight experience.