Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

confessions of an ugly stepsister Pictures, Images and Photos

Apparently, according to many reviews I have read for several of his books, you either like Gregory Maguire, or you don't. I'm in the "like" column. Having read and really liked "Wicked", and then having read "Son of a Witch," I did not hesitate to put this book on my Paperback Swap wish list. Wish granted and I received it.

I love how he takes a fairytale and turns it on its ear. There are no fairy god mothers, no talking mice, no evil step-sisters. There's the story of a girl and her slightly retarded big sister in Holland "back in the day," whose mom manipulates the man she's housekeeping for into marrying her. The man with a beautiful daughter who doesn't want to go out. Doesn't want to leave the house. The story is told through the eyes of the step-sister Iris, who is not wicked, who gets along with her new beautiful step-sister Clara and tends to her older, slower yet sweet sister. You see their lives, their daily struggles when finances turn sour, Iris' mom's conniving and planning to get her plain but witty daughter Iris hitched to the rich Prince who happens to be in town and having a ball planned in his honor.

It's a good story about 3 sisters, their lives, the mother who slowly goes mad, and all the people that surround them. I enjoyed it.


Gramatrick said...

Read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. It was the trailblazing book in this genre (written in 1966). It changed how I thought about the characters in books.

As far as Geoffrey Maguire, I liked the first 2/3 of Wicked very much, and then I thought he got really bogged down. He could have used a stronger editor.

So maybe I'm the only one around who is meh on Maguire.


Niki said...

This is my favorite Maguire book.