Book: The Pilgrims

The Pilgrims


After reading Frankenstein, I had a taste of what a great storyteller Mary Shelley is. When I saw this collection of her short stories on the library shelves, I had to read it. As Kamila Shamsie mentioned in the foreword:

Storytelling, in each of these five tales, is not merely idle past-time, a way of filling empty hours. It is something more profound – a medium for revealing the most intimate details of character,  the key component to affecting reconciliation, or a means of confirming deep loss.

Mary Shelley’s collection of five short tales in the pilgrims is gothic fiction at it’s best. Hauntingly poignant, all of them are tinged with sadness. Heart-rendering and yet so perfectly captured by the author. Each tragedy is different, yet the way in which they were described resonates with readers. In every single one of them there is a tale of romance. For some there is happiness, peace and joy that comes with the conclusion of the story. For others, their value lies in the beauty of the tale told.

I enjoyed every single one of the stories in this collection. They did not bring me to tears or any overt display of emotion. But there was a quiet, simple shift in perspective. Mary Shelley’s use of the twist or turning point of the story, is so masterfully that I have a deep appreciation for her work. I have come to the realization that twists don’t have to be sudden and unexpected, but they have to be timed well and that perhaps is the most important aspect of using a twist in the story.

Due to the length of the book, I would actually recommend this collection of stories over Frankenstein. I think that these stories are sorely under-appreciated and as much as I enjoyed Frankenstein, I feel that these stories would appeal to more people. If you have read them, what were your thoughts on them and do you have anything similar to recommend?



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