The Glitter Rose Collection features five short stories by Marianne de Pierres – four previously published and one new story. Each copy of this limited edition print run is signed and presented in a beautiful hardbound cover, with internal black and white illustrations.
The Glitter Rose stories are set against the background of Carmine Island (an island reminiscent of Stradbroke Island, Queensland) where a decade ago spores from deep in the ocean blew in, by a freak of nature, and settled on the island. These spores bring fierce allergies to the inhabitants of the island. And maybe other, more sinister effects. As we follow Tinashi’s journey of moving to and settling into island life, we get a clearer picture of just what is happening on Carmine Island.
Glitter Rose is named after the glitter rose dusks that happen at certain tides on the island – when the last of sunset has fallen, a strange phosphorescence can be seen on the sands of the beaches. Colourless at first, it rapidly changes to a “carpet of tiny, shining, rose-coloured grains” as the sky darkens.
Marianne de Pierres is a favourite author of mine. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed her Sentients of Orion series and, despite never having read any of her short fiction, was very eager to read Glitter Rose. I didn’t know what to expect other than the stories shared a common setting, but what I found was wonderful, even exceptional.
The setting for Glitter Rose is Carmine Island where the four stories in this collection follow Tinashi, a women with a troubled past who moves there. We join Tinashi during this first move and follow her time on Carmine Island through these stories, learning a little more of her and her past as they progress. Her fellow long-time residents are introduced in the first story, Glitter-by-Dark, and the relationships Tinashi strikes up with them play a role throughout the collection.
I won’t give anything away here, I feel the stories need to be read to be appreciated, but Marianne has created a wonderful setting that is explored through the characters. Very little is explained about Carmine Island and the spores that make it special, but enough is passed on to the reader through Tinashi’s experiences to grasp the idea and let it carry you away. The prose is beautiful and simple with none of the stories being over written, each is self contained yet also part of the bigger picture that is Tinashi’s time on the island. It’s a joy to read and will take you on a journey that is well worth the time.
There is a fifth story in this collection, In the Bookshadow, and while unrelated to the four Carmine Island stories, it brings with it exactly the same confident and oh-so-very readable style. It’s unique, yet so familiar to any genre reader, and a masterful way to end a great collection.
I do have to add a little something about the way this collection is presented. It’s a small hardcover with a stunning cover, but it also contains other illustrations based on the stories. Although only a small press, Twelfth Planet Press has done a wonderful job at packaging this book just right – everything works.
I can recommend this collection to anyone – it’s beautiful and written so well, I’m hard pressed to find anything at all I didn’t enjoy about it. If you’ve not read anything by Marianne de Pierres then this is a good place to start, and even if you have you need this in your collection – it’s exceptional.