Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon
Summary: Lillian is an old women who spends her days in a Manhattan bookstore and nights at home in her apartment. But Lillian has an intriguing secret. Bound behind her back are feathery wings – the remnants of the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball. But on that night something went terribly wrong. Lillian fell in love with the prince herself, and attended the ball in place of Cinderella. For her mistake, she was banished to live among humans. One day she meets Veronica and suddenly it becomes clear to Lillian, she's been given a second chance, all she has to do is find a soulmate for Veronica to right her wrongs and return home
Review: Everyone enjoys a good fairy tale from time to time. The stories are familiar and the characters follow the same destiny, concluding with happily ever after. The predictability of fairy tales is satisfying and causes them to be retold over and over for generations. Some fairy tales can become boring over time because of the never changing plot.
Turgeon takes what you know about the story of Cinderella and delivers a twisted, yet interesting dish. No one would consider reading the story through the eyes of the fairy Godmother, since she was merely a tool for Cinderella to attend the ball. It’s not possible to think the fairy Godmother might also be in love with the Prince. It is this hidden love that leaves Cinderella alone and the fairy Godmother banished from her homeland. The story follows her sorrowful journey of redemption and the longing to return home.
I enjoyed Turgeon’s unique twist to this classic tale. Each chapter began with a glance into the past. Were the truth behind what happened on the fateful night of the ball is reveled. I thought the ending would be predicable and as history shows, end with happily ever after. However, Turgeon took me for a ride I was not prepared for and I found myself starving for more. The book ends with an ambiguous twist that left me pondering the true outcome of the events in the story. Is it possible the story of Cinderella was just a fabrication of a distressed old woman?
In conclusion, this book delivered a beautiful retelling of Cinderella from a point of view I had never considered. The language was enchanting and the characters were realistic. Thought the setting was confusing at times because I’ve never been to Manhattan, so it was difficult to follow all the street names given. I often found myself losing the characters when they traveled to new destinations. However, I look forward to her next book were she places a twist on the Little Mermaid.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham
Summary: Fleur Daxeny considers her life perfect because she goes through more rich men than she has designer hats. She successfully crashes funerals to find wealthy men whom are distressed from sorrow. Fleur wastes no time in seducing her latest conquest, the rich widower Richard Favour. His children become caught up in a whirlwind by their father's new girlfriend. Fleur generally tries not to fall in love with her conquests, but she soon finds herself embracing Richard and his family. But just as Fleur contemplates ending her crashing funerals days for good, a long-buried secret threatens to destroy her new family.
Review: I do not normally read chicklet books, since most of the conclusions are predicable and the characters are stereotyped. However, Wickham has designed set formula for the creation each story, which makes the plot predicable but interesting at the same time. For me, knowing where a story is going does destroy my enjoyment value. In fact I find discovering how the events lead me to the conclusion the best part.
For reading something out of my preferred genre, I was impressed. The book held my attention with its multiply points of view and intriguing characters. Wickham continuously switches the point of view between all the relevant characters. This allows for more depth and understanding into each characters personality and background, making them and story loveable.
I had thought this book would be a brainless beach read, something to mindlessly read for pleasure and expect no substance. I was proven wrong. The story blossomed into a world where people are not who they initially seem. It was interesting to discover how little the characters knew of one another, until the secrets exploded like fireworks in the afternoon. It makes one wonder ‘where did that come from because I did not see it coming’.
Wickham has a habit of concluding her books with a climatic ending. This left me in suspense until the last page, were it all fell apart. The climax I thought was coming did not; in fact another climax had surfaced all together. Thou it was surprising and unpredictable, I was slightly disappointed. The ending was less desirable then the climax I had anticipated, but the beginning and middle were fantastic. I enjoyed the core of the book more than the ending.
In conclusion, the book was like eating mousse that is only 50 calories, but still tastes good. I enjoyed every bite until I became depressed over its end. I find it useful to try new things and this was defiantly a good experience.