Haunted Hearts; Tales of Love and Tragedy
Haunted Hearts; Tales of Love and Tragedy (audio-cassette) by Sherry Norfolk. Little Rock, AR: August House, 1998. ISBN 0-87483-537-2.56 mins. $12
Only one of these is a ghost story and therefore truly haunted, but lovers will tell you that all love stories are haunting In one way or another, and these six stories are a mix of powerfully and simply of contemporary and traditional tales dealing the characterizations come with love.
The ghost story, called Revenge, tells of a Samurai warrior who is haunted by the spectre of the wife he murdered. A truly chilling tale. In counterpoint is the light tone of the next story The Very Pretty Lady from Natalie Babbitt's The Devil's Storybook. The loss of her beauty is nothing to the lady, since all she has ever wanted is to be loved for more than her looks.
The Tiger's Whisker is the Korean tale of the power of love to tame the wild heart of beast and man. These stories, and the other three, all seem to ask the question "What do we ask of love?" The Song of the Shepherdess which is Norfolk's adaptation of a Carmen Deedy story reminds us that true love sets no tasks. It is a powerful tale, as haunting in its own way as the ghost story from Japan.
The Woman of the Wood asks if one person can own another, or belong to another. A favourite of women, it puts the choice in the woman's own hands.
Tezin is a variant of Wolkstein's Tayzanne from The Magic Orange. This variant is as powerful as the Wolkstein version though less mystical and perhaps more accessible to the average listener. It tells of love that unites lovers and keeps them together forever.
There is a balance of tragedy and happy endings which pleased me as a listener. Indeed, the selections and the order in which they are told are carefully planned to draw the listener into the larger questions of the meaning of love.
Dulcimer music between the stories cleanses the mind's palate and sets the tone for the tale to follow. As we draw near to Valentine's Day, you might wish to consider the transformational power of love, the selfless acts that can, but don't always, accompany love, and the consequences of any type of love at all. This tape can help you do so.
Order from Sherry's webpage http://www.sherrynorfolk.com [OK Apr 2014]
The Second Story Review, Vol 3, No. 4, March 1998