A-Z Wednesday (C)


A-ZWEDNESDAY
A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach
To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
Post:
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.).
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment. (We all love comments, don't we?) Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEK'S LETTER IS: C
Here is my "C" Title:

confessionstop-cover

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister – Gregory Maguire
368 pages; published 1999
Gregory Maguire's chilling, wonderful retelling of Cinderella is a study in contrasts. Love and hate, beauty and ugliness, cruelty and charity--each idea is stripped of its ethical trappings, smashed up against its opposite number, and laid bare for our examination. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister begins in 17th-century Holland, where the two Fisher sisters and their mother have fled to escape a hostile England. Maguire's characters are at once more human and more fanciful than their fairy-tale originals. Plain but smart Iris and her sister, Ruth, a hulking simpleton, are dazed and terrified as their mother, Margarethe, urges them into the strange Dutch streets. Within days, purposeful Margarethe has secured the family a place in the home of an aspiring painter, where for a short time, they find happiness.
But this is Cinderella, after all, and tragedy is inevitable. When a wealthy tulip speculator commissions the painter to capture his blindingly lovely daughter, Clara, on canvas, Margarethe jumps at the chance to better their lot. "Give me room to cast my eel spear, and let follow what may," she crows, and the Fisher family abandons the artist for the upper-crust Van den Meers.
When Van den Meer's wife dies during childbirth, the stage is set for Margarethe to take over the household and for Clara to adopt the role of "Cinderling" in order to survive. What follows is a changeling adventure, and of course a ball, a handsome prince, a lost slipper, and what might even be a fairy godmother. In a single magic night, the exquisite and the ugly swirl around in a heated mix:
Everything about this moment hovers, trembles, all their sweet, unreasonable hopes on view before anything has had the chance to go wrong. A stepsister spins on black and white tiles, in glass slippers and a gold gown, and two stepsisters watch with unrelieved admiration. The light pours in, strengthening in its golden hue as the sun sinks and the evening approaches. Clara is as otherworldly as the Donkeywoman, the Girl-Boy. Extreme beauty is an affliction...
But beyond these familiar elements, Maguire's second novel becomes something else altogether--a morality play, a psychological study, a feminist manifesto, or perhaps a plain explanation of what it is to be human. Villains turn out to be heroes, and heroes disappoint. The story's narrator wryly observes, "In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings. When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats." (from Amazon)

9 comments :

Veens said...

"In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings. When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats." (from Amazon) -- that was aweosme observation!

gautami tripathy said...

Now this sounds good to me!

Wednesday: Wondrous Words/A-Z wednesday

Nise' said...

I have not heard of this one. Will check it out.

Kristen said...

Everyone always cites Wicked as the Maguire book they can't get enough of but I far prefered this one (actually, I didn't like Wicked at all--shhhh!).

Dawn said...

I have read "Wicked," but never got around to the other books in the series. Thanks for listing it!

Book Dragon said...

sounds great - thanks for reminding us that there is more than just Wicked.

I've got three memes happening today.

Vicki said...

Sounds like a book I'd love to read!!

Thanks for playing!

Kinga said...

I would never have heard of this one without you (and of course the letter game). You definitely made me interested! Thanks!

Bryan R. Terry said...

I've never been able to get into Maguire's books, so more power to you.

Mine is HERE