Hosted by Alison at The Cheap Reader
GODMOTHER: THE SECRET CINDERELLA STORY by CAROLYN TURGEON
I decided to keep this one short. I borrowed the ebook from the library and just tried several times to get into it, but I was just not enjoying the story. I know how many Cinderella retellings there are out there and with that in mind, I decided not to finish. I think I made it about a quarter of the way through before decided that this book just wasn’t for me.
Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings–the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming.
But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world. But then one day she meets Veronica–a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with a love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men–and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she’s been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for. . . . (From Goodreads.com)
HOW WAS IT AS A RETELLING?
Really? It was kind of depressing. When we first meet Lil, she’s working in an old book shop and it just seems like she’s trapped there. She enjoys her time in the bookshop, but she’s just not supposed to be… Well, in the normal human world. Lil is a fairy. She was never supposed to age but her time on Earth took that magic away from her and now she has to hide her wings, tightly bound to her body to prevent any regular old humans from seeing them.
Truthfully, I didn’t make it very far. The whole beginning was just SAD. Lil is trapped. She has no friends or family (although she tells people she does). She can barely afford rent and food. And she’s all alone, working for meager pay in the bookshop because it’s the only thing she remotely enjoys. I actually decided to stop shortly after Lil met Veronica, so I don’t know much about her side of the story… We had a flash back to Lil’s time in her little fairy land and also a flashback to the real Cinderella story, but I was just bored with both of these. The fairies were annoying to me – very vain, frivolous. Just not my thing. And the flashback to Cinderella just felt like I was rereading the tale instead of anything being new and different. I was just struggling to get through the book, so I finally decided to stop reading.
LIES, KNIVES, AND GIRLS IN RED DRESSES by RON KOERTGE
I was looking for something a little different, so I picked up LIES, KNIVES, AND GIRLS IN RED DRESSES, which is really just a collection of short stories (not even – each only ranging a few pages) of re-told or “true” versions of fairy tales. I wanted to see what the Cinderella one was all about….
Once upon a time, a strung-out match girl sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped Daddy’s clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. Bluebeard’s latest wife discovered she’d married a serial killer. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it’s like to be swallowed whole.
You see, Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets of fairy tales, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer–he wants to whisper in your ear. (From Goodreads.com)
HOW WAS IT AS A RETELLING?
Ummm. It was frightening. A little disturbing? I mean, I’ve heard some gruesome fairy tales in my day, but after reading it, I was really hoping they hadn’t shelved this in the children’s section at my library (because I think they did). I guess I don’t know how to take it because this is not the stuff of a child’s fairy tale.
The Cinderella version in this book was from the two step-sisters (Sarah and Kathy), who are still bitter after their step-sister Ella is happily married…. BUT this short excerpt is riddled with sexual connotations that I totally was not expecting.
"Even in tatters Ella was desirable - a little thigh showing here, some soot at her cleavage. And what a tease - dashing away at midnight leaving the heir to the throne groaning in his purple tights."
So yeah. Was not expecting that one! Thankfully it was only two pages per excerpt because it that was a full book, that would be difficult to get through. Anyway, the story goes on and the rest is quite off-putting as well, but to tell that would be simply retelling the whole story. It was just a bit more than I was expecting, so if you’re looking for super dark and creepy, this is your book! If not, I’d definitely say this one is not for you!