The Girl Who Cried Flowers by Jane Yolen is a book I have been searching for my entire adult life. While this book is a tiny one, holding only five short fairy tales, one of those stories was one my sister and I read as youngsters. The book in which it belonged was filled with many such folkloric tales, but somehow it was lost (along with an incredible illustrated folkloric Beauty and the Beast book that I weep having lost to this day), and has been impossible to find no matter how many times we Googled.
Well, my friends, I found that story. Finally. A Google search was fruitful this time, pointing me to this book. I wish I could properly explain to you my whirlwind excitement. The rush as my fingers bolted to the library website, typed in the title and discovered the book was available at my local branch at that exact moment! My race to the car to get over there as quick as I could, hurrying along the shelves to pluck it up. I opened it up as I walked toward check out and came to a slow stop, reading the first few paragraphs that brought my fifteen year search to an end. I swear the smile I was wearing was the smile of a child who had gotten the best gift.
Best of all, the story is worth it. “Silent Bianca” is about a beautiful wraith-like woman whose words come out as frozen slivers of ice. The only way to hear her words is to catch them before they fall to the ground, or get blown away by the wind, then melt them by the fire to release their sound. The details remembered between my sister and I were all there, filled in with everything we didn’t. And it has a happy ending. I long feared that finding the story would mean that I would discover it was a tragic fairy tale, but I was so very pleased when it turned out to be a completely positive one!
The title story is also very good, albeit bittersweet, while the other three are lackluster.
Once I knew it was the right story, I was able to Google the story’s bibliography and found that it has only been in one other collection. By default, that has to be the one we’d had and lost. I now have two copies in my Amazon cart. One for me and one for my sister.
Maybe all little girls do need fairy tales.