Monday, May 17, 2010

Book review: Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story
If Cinderella's fairy godmother was anything like the godmother in this book, then I'd have rather stayed at home and not gone to the ball… Oh wait…

The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon (Headline Review)
We all know how the original Cinderella story goes…

A beautiful but destitute girl is forced into servitude by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters until her fairy godmother steps in to save the day by sending her to the ball (after an epic transformation process) - all so that Prince Charming can take one look at her, fall in love, and spend the rest of the story looking for the girl who misplaced her glass slipper.

Of course, in the original version “... they all lived happily ever after."

Ha! Not in this story though…

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story  is a modern take on the Cinderella story, told from the Fairy Godmother's point of view.

The story focuses on Lilian, the fairy godmother who is banished to the mortal realm, destined to spend centuries surviving in a world that is strange and bereft of magic to her; all because of one desperate and selfish act.

Now stuck in a modern world, the feather-winged fairy, stripped of her former beauty, spends most of her days languishing in a book shop owned by the somewhat eccentric and lonely George.  When a fiery young red-haired hair salon owner walks in one day, Lilian sees an opportunity to redeem herself, in the hopes of returning to the fairy realm once again.

Lovers of the classic tale might consider this take on Cinderella to be rather blasphemous, considering that the story is actually supposed to revolve around her happiness.

I have to confess that when I first took this book, I assumed there would be more of an emphasis on the fairy folklore, but was disappointed when the story was more about the role reversals of Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother than anything else.

I also found Lilian's character to be rather remorseless and selfish - which is not something I would expect from a fairy godmother supposedly paying for her sins. Still, I don't think it's all that unbearable - it's one of those books that you should probably read when you really don't have anything else to.

My rating: 2.5 /5

Review originally appeared on the w24's book club

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