Monday, March 28, 2011

The Fearsome Inn, by Isaac Bashevis Singer

This short illustrated story has the size and shape of a picture book, but enough words that it would appeal to slightly older readers, too. It reads very much like an old folk tale. The Fearsome Inn is a bewitched inn in Poland which appears only in winter to lure lost travelers. Its proprietors are a husband and wife, descendants of Satan and Lilith, respectively. They live there with three girls (one with black hair, one with blonde hair, and one with red hair) whom they have enslaved. The girls are unable to escape because their masters have enchanted the roads around the inn.

One winter night, three Jewish travelers, Herschel, Velvel, and Leibel, find themselves at the inn en route to their various destinations. However, Leibel is a student of cabala, and proves to be a formidable match for the evil innkeepers.

A perfect spooky book for the Halloween season, and for anyone who enjoys the rhythm of traditional folk tales.

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