The Miniaturist by Heidi Julavits, another short story from McSweeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories

English: Bride and bridesmaids, 1900-1910 A st...
English: Bride and bridesmaids, 1900-1910 A studio portrait of a bride and three bridesmaids. The bride wears a high necked dress and a veil with headpiece. The bridesmaids wear matching dresses with full sleeves gathered at the top and with ruffles at the hem. Shaefer & Deazley, Austral Studio, Toowoomba. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was one freaky little short story which I thouroughly enjoyed. It starts out with two sisters driving to their long lost sister’s bridal shower. I say long lost because they only just found out she existed after their father mysteriously dies in a fly fishing accident, and this unknown daughter was mentioned in the will. Jennifer is much more judgemental of Helen the long lost sister, than her sister Maureen, who in Jennifer’s opinion is too nice and too trusting. On their trip to the country in the woods, they end up stuck in the snow, and conveniently find a cabin with someone. Jennifer feels too conveniently so, and she starts to agree with her gut more and more when Meg the old woman who lives in the house starts to tell the two sisters stories of an old witch before their time, who had had her two half sisters as bridesmaids dress up in their white bridesmaids dresses and look in the mirror to see themselves bleeding in their gowns. The bridesmaids would then run outside into the snow believing themselves to be on fire, and then never seen again.  And yes Helen and Maureen’s bridesmaids dresses were also in fact white. This witch whom Meg spoke of was also an avid dollhouse collector. Yet another strange similiarity this witch shared with their supposed half sister Helen. This story did not end happily, but I’ll leave it to you to find out how exactly it does end.


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