Monday, April 25, 2011

The Lost Valentine

I got this book after watching the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie based on it. The movie itself made me cry, so I went into this book with much the same expectation. I wasn't disappointed.

As with most books that are made into movies (or TV shows), I liked the book more than the movie. This was such a sweet story. A love story without the usual sex involved in most romance novels these days.

The story of Caroline and Neil Thomas was something that I hope I can have. Without the tragedy hopefully. They have a love that spanned 50 years, even though they only spent 1 year together. Set in WWII, it really shows what true love is. Neil, a Navy pilot, goes missing in the Phillippines and Caroline never gives up the belief that he will come home to her.

I won't ruin the ending of this story. If you like sappy love stories, I highly recommend this book - with a box of tissues.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mirror Mirror

Gregory Maguire once again delivered a book I thoroughly enjoyed.

Mirror Mirror is Snow White. That's pretty easy to figure out. But the way that Gregory Maguire re-writes these fairy tales is so fascinating. Snow White is actually Bianca de Nevada. Lucrezia Borgia is the evil queen. The way that Maguire used bits from the Borgia history into this fictionalized story was amazing. Their relationship with the de Nevada family was totally fiction, but he used historical fact in some parts. It was amazing.

He even went with the original Grimm Brothers version of Snow White by using the same methods of murder from that fairy tale: hunter in the forest, poisoned comb, corset tied too tight, and then the apple.

I highly recommend this. Gregory Maguire books are like fairy tales for grown ups.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

I love this book. It's a twist on the normal story of Cinderella. Instead of being told making Cinderella into the main character and this completely pure character, Gregory Maguire has made her character, Clara, so much more human. Margarethe, the stepmother, isn't wicked in the sense that she is in the fairy tale. Instead, she is more misguided in her attempts to better her life and the lives of her daughters. The stepsisters, Iris and Ruth, are never wicked. They're just trapped in the wake of their mother's scheming. Clara is a cruel, confused girl at the beginning of the book and she grows to be this brave woman who wants to just be left alone.

Iris is really seen as the main character of the story, because she is the one that seems to be telling it. The whole book is a memory of this time in the Fisher sisters' lives. It's written in present tense so it really felt like I was part of the story. I could almost see all of the story happening.

I highly recommend this if you like retellings of fairy tales. Even if you think you won't like it, try it out. You just might be surprised.