"Daydreams of Angels" by Heather O'Neill

Fairy tales for grown-ups, that is exactly how Heather O’Neill’s first collection of short stories can be described. Daydreams of Angels is an incredible and descriptive collection of short stories, designed to stretch your imagination and take you on a journey that is touching and full of wonder. 

O’Neill’s novels are ones of great creativity.  She has an incredible way with words and the rich descriptiveness of her writing jumps off the page.  Often when I read short story collections I read one story and then take a break but with this book I just wanted to keep going to the next story.  I couldn’t wait to see what else her mind could come up with.  

Two of my favourite stories include:

Swan Lake For Beginners - an experiment is undertaken to clone Rudolph Nureyev but each generation is never quite right and soon a town in Quebec is heavily populated with the clones.

Dear Piglet- a teenage girl who became part of a cult is writing a letter which explains the motivation of the crimes that they committed.

The stories in this book also include gypsy violinists, infants that wash up on the seashore, a boy raised by wolves, neglected dolls, and so much more.

Most of the stories take place in Montreal, or elsewhere in Quebec and there is a definite Canadian flavour to all of them.  But what these stories should be known for are the inventiveness of them all.  There are no limits in O’Neill’s writing, no boundaries which mean the stories all take some imagination to enjoy them.  But there are no difficulties in finding that imagination, these are fairy tales that make you want to believe.


  1. Great review! I've been curious about this title ever since it was listed in this year's Giller Prize so I'll have to keep an eye out for it :)


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