His To Claim (McBain Brothers Alpha, kPpily ever after problems solved in the last five minutesind of thing I wouldn t exactly call it satisfying Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is way better than Wicked not least because the characters have consistent personalities and the plot is coherent I appreciated the sensory "details and descriptions and the various characters are "and descriptions and the various characters are There s a nice twist near the end which Gave Me A Little Brain Jolt And I Always Like me a little brain jolt and I always like This was an easy read and an interesting take on the Cinderella story but it wasn t amazing It felt like it gave a very long build up to a climax that was vague and unexciting In the lives of children pumpkins turn into coaches mice and rats turn into men When we grow up we realize it is far common for men to turn into rats I enjoy Maguire s work He combines lively characters with literary writingUnlike Maguire s other wildly successful novel Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West this retelling leaves behind magic instead relying on a genuine historical period and uncanny characters to imbue the novel with an unworldly tone Although there is no magic in the story it manages to feel magical for the readerMaguire is not a newcomer to telling stories that deconstruct old narratives and in my opinion this attempt was successful then Wicked for several reasons One of my major criticisms of Wicked was the inconsistencies and underdeveloped plot arcs This was so problematic that they changed the ending of the stage production to improve the narratives cohesiveness He has a much basic plot to work with here The benefits of a tighter narrative result in a much satisfying novel He is able to focus attention on his strength as a writer complex multifaceted exploration of character I never particularly liked the story of Cinderella as a child and as an adult some of the troubling aspects of the tale became apparent So it s no surprise that this novel is primarily occupied with female solidarity self preservation and conformity Iris is a compelling and sympathetic main character Her relationships with her mother sister step sister Clara Cinderella and the painter s apprentice Casper form the loci around which each of these issues is explored No my girl you now nothing of how we women are imprisoned in our lives but there are ways to determine the sentence we must serve Iris relationship with her mother is fascinating Her mother is spiritually suffocated by her obsession with appearances and survival and it was heart rendering at times to see how this fear crippled her daughters To consider what other people might say is hardly a good reason to take action or to defer it You have your own life to live Iris and at its end the only opinion that amounts to anything is that which God bestows Iris struggles with accepting and understanding herself and the people around her This is not the sort of book you can passively absorb I thought a lot about what various characters did and said and what I felt about thatThe setting and writing was a lush and richly formed tapestry If you enjoy literary writing you will likely appreciate it even if the metaphors are occasionally too heavy handed However one of the problems with the novel is that the characters are too difficult to love To truly love a book I think you need to fall in love a little with at least one of the characters
There are exceptions of course but even Silence of the Lambs has a weirdly aspirational element to our fascination with are exceptions of course but even Silence of the Lambs has a weirdly aspirational element to our fascination with Lecter The characters here felt too strange too flawed to really admire In addition the climax felt abrupt and at times elements were introduced that were a little too esoteric The belief the girls had that Clara was a changeling was never really developed and at times it was hard to see why certain things were included Despite this I would recommend it to people who enjoy adult or literary retellings especially if they enjoyed Wicked For me it was a satisfying read. En the merchant's wife dies Margarethe seizes the moment and a wicked stepmother is born Narrated with spirit and warmth by Jenny Sterlin Gregory Maguire's vision of Cinderella is a sweeping story of love and deception where a ball a handsome prince and the betrayal of a daughter can lead to everyone living happily ever after. .
This book gives a whole new view on the Cinderella one that is completely believable It offers a real settingnot just a land far far away or a long time ago and speaks of real people It makes you think Is beauty a
or a It offers a brave out of the ordinary heroine one of the ugly stepsisters herself The narrator shows you a new perspective on the Cinderella story Perhaps the wicked stepsisters were not so wicked Perhaps they had lives too Perhaps their lives were actually better because they were not so beautiful This seems to be a gift of Gregory Maguire s to take old well nown fairy tales and make you uestion them He can turn the clear antagonist of the story into a most wonderful good protagonist It makes you look deep past looks past what everyone else tells you I remember when I read this book for the first time I bought it the day after it came out because I was already obsessed with Gregory Maguire despite the fact that he had only written one other adult book at that point I started the novel in the morning the day I had to take my parents to the airport in Kalamazoo We left that evening because their flight was an early morning one I read and read in the car getting fairly far When we got to the hotel and had to go to bed I COULD NOT sleep so I got up went in the hotel bathroom but a towel under the door and read the rest of the book staying up until it was time for us to go to the airport around 4amIt was FANTASTIC I think this may be my favorite Gregory Maguire novel I believe this is probably because it d I am an idiot I did it to myself again After reading Wicked and hating it I decided to give Gregory Maguire another go Apparently Maguire is my literary euivalent to the corner brick on my fireplace that I Pursuit of Justice keep stubbing my toe upon even though Inow it s there and I Dangerous to Touch know it s going to hurtBut I picked up Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister thinking I had to give Maguire another try He shows glimpses of pure genius so I was hoping he d be able to channel it properly After all how can he screw up a story about CinderellaWell he can and did and in the same manner he s screwed up his Oz stories diarrhea of theeyboard I am now convinced Maguire can t pace a story to my liking and his stories and characters are all too convoluted so that I am never sure exactly what is going on or even why I should care I now Maguire s deal is to show the human fault in everybody but if I wanted that I would watch CNN I don t enjoy reading books when I have to try to convince myself to like the characters when I don tNot to mention Maguire can t get from Point A to Point B without numerous side trips through the alphabet He needs an author s GarminHis plots remind me of doing a school research paper that is supposed to be 10 pages only when you finish what you have to say you realize it s only four pages so you go back and start shoveling in fluff to make it the reuisite lengthMaguire s books have the same problem The story is OK when you get to it but you ve got to take waaay too many dead end side roads to get to your destination and by the time you get there you re pissed off and need to take a wee which is convenient since all I wanted to do was piss on this book anyway I love books based on fairy tales but it s taken me forever to really read any of Maguire s stuff I still haven t read Wicked Years ago I tried reading this book and just couldn t get into it But with so many people telling me how great this guy is I decided to give it another shot This book follows the story of Iris and Ruth two little girls who with their mother FLEE FROM ENGLAND AFTER THEIR FATHER from England after their father murdered Poor and begging they have no choice but to first take a job as the housekeeper to an artist then to a merchant of the city I believe it s Amsterdam but not entirely sure Ruth the oldest is dumb and mute and taken care of by Iris the younger smarter sister who shows artistic promise but is considered plain at Gregory Maguire critically acclaimed author of Wicked returns with his eagerly anticipated second novel Using a dazzling reincarnation of the Cinderella story set in 17th century Holland Maguire deftly weaves together stories of inner and outer beauty Iris is a plain but intelligent young girl Forced to flee England with her.gift or a