Celia Fremlin

Don’t Go To Sleep In The Dark

"Each tale is a glittering gem."


Here are thirteen short stories featuring a variety of situations that deal with madness, love and hate, splattered with the odd ghost story for good measure. As with Fremlin's novels, these normally take place in the homestead and she takes the everyday and makes it starkly menacing.

Purchase the book from Amazon.


I love Fremlin's novels but I feel it is in her short stories where she really let's rip. I know that short stories aren't everyone's cup of tea, but it depends if the writer can write a good short story or not. Fremlin excels at this art and she could show many different aspects of human nature in a few pages. Fremlin was not adverse to holding up a mirror and showing the absurdity of people's behaviour, their paranoia. In 'The Betrayal' Fremlin has her tongue wedged firmly in her cheek as the female lead who intends to delay a death actually hastens it; and all due to her own vanity. 'Last Day of Spring' is a theme re-visited many times by Fremlin: growing old. Here she delivers a poignant tale that tugs at the heart strings. 'For Ever Fair' takes us to the other end of the spectrum and deals with the issue of the longevity of beauty. Again, this acid drop is tinged with a precise wisp of humour. 'The Hated House' is the one that has stayed in my mind the most over the years. This poignant tale wrestles with the issue of mothers and daughters and shows that even after death, parent and child can finally come to an understanding. Each tale is a glittering gem. What I love about Fremlin is that she never treated her readers as stupid. There is some element in every story that will make you think, turn it over in your mind and in some cases, make you turn back and re-read it all over again. These stories are perfect for that train journey and it is wonderful that they are again about to be re-discovered by a whole new audience.

Reviewed By: