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Search tags: Gregory-Maguire
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review 2017-10-22 14:42
Book 69/100: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - Gregory Maguire
This is one of the best Maguire books I've read, right up there with the first couple Oz retellings (I only read the first two but heard the later ones weren't as good.)

Similar to "Mirror, Mirror," Maguire places the story of Cinderella within a firm historical time and place -- Holland at the start of the tulip trade. But unlike "Mirror, Mirror," it doesn't have the strange conflagration of fantasy and historical realism that didn't quite work for me. "Confessions" could be read as a straight historical retelling with the characters holding onto some "magical" belief systems, or it could be read as a very subtle fantasy rooted in a historical setting. This ambiguity worked for me.

The stepmother and stepsisters, as well as the "Cinderella" character, are all vividly drawn. The stepmother comes across as both wicked and sympathetic -- surely not an easy feat to accomplish. As soon as I got over my hangup that it felt as if this story should be told first-person (it's CONFESSIONS, after all!), I enjoyed the masterful and detailed writing -- although the level of detail and the change the characters underwent in the course of the story made it feel as though it should have taken place over a longer span of time than it actually did. Still, that was a minor quibble -- and the minor "twist" at the end really worked for me.

The retelling genre teems with Cinderella stories, but this one moves to the front of the line for me.
 
 
 
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text 2017-09-13 16:05
Halloween Bingo - Witches - One of my bargain books
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Gregory Maguire

 

This was one of those bargain books I picked up at the library.  Though not as big a bargain as those 10-cent beauties, I couldn't complain about plunking out 75 cents for this one.

 

I set it aside just waiting for Halloween Bingo.  But it's going to be a longer read than some of the others, so I'm hoping for break by having one of my opted-out squares called soon.

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review 2017-07-10 00:00
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker - Gregory Maguire Our protagonist does what a lot of Maguire protagonists do, they walk through life and occasionally react to events. Maguire has a shtick, which is fine. I love a good reinvention of a story, but I noticed as the sequels to Wicked went on the gas ran out of them until Out of Oz managed to patch everything up. Hiddensee never gathers enough energy to have a spark.

This story is about the backstory of Drosselmayer, the eye-patched godfather who gives Clara the nutcracker at the beginning of the story. The novel begins near the end of the Napoleonic wars, but young Dirk is raised in isolation by a woodcutter and his wife until an incident propels him into the wider world. The wider world propels him to go from place to place until the book ends.

Very little happens in the novel. Its not unusual that Dirk keeps many thoughts to himself - in fact some of the most fantastical elements of the story he completely forgets about for years - but the introverted child/young man doesn't often include the reader either, which is unusual. Instead we have narration of events happening, time passing, and just about when the story starts to get going, our guy has a purpose, we're winding up for the finish. Was there a solution? Who can say?

I missed something. I know I did. If I didn't miss something, some important psychological depth or metaphor or whatever, then there is nothing here. I finished it, which is something. The story is inoffensive. Hiddensee works history and myth and the Nutcracker story together to little purpose.
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text 2017-04-05 02:42
After Alice: A Novel - Gregory Maguire
3 stars is me being really generous. I started this book right before I caught the flu. Large portions of it I read while in a NyQuil hot toddy daze, to feverish to sleep. I ended up setting it, and couldn't get into the story again. The story never really went anywhere. Maybe thats my fault for reading it while sick and taking a long break to finish. I still don't think this Gregory Maguire best book.
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video 2017-01-18 20:54

Originally posted on MissKatiEllen.

 

Welcome to 2017 everybody, and to my first post of the year all about last year!! In todays post we’ll be looking at what I read in the last two months, my favourite and recommendations of the year and what’s on my reading list for the year.

 

In no particular order here are my favourite reads of 2016, all of which I would highly recommend. Not pictured is here is the fairy tale retelling series by Jackson Pearce as a friend is currently borrowing them.

 

 

  • The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford Smith, although not a long book it’s a cute story of filled with stunning illustrations.
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, I have never enjoyed a series so much!! A wonderful fairytale retelling, definitely a winner. Would also recommend the novellas too.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, this was probably one of the first ‘chosen one’ series I’ve read since Harry Potter. What I loved, aside from the great story, was the fact the romantic aspect wasn’t the driving force of this. Yes it was the but had to take a backseat to more important things.
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, this was a nice little read about a girls journey through her forbidden home where myth and reality become one.
  • Fairest by Serena Valentino, I didn’t realise how long this book had been sat on my list and om glad I’ve finally read it. This was such a great portrayal of the Evil Queen, everything her past to her present. The second book is based Beauty and the Beast, and the third to be released is about Ursula.
  • Harry Potter by J.K Rowling, I’ve loved rediscovering this series, so much went over my head as a child. I’ve discovered a whole new love for this wizarding world.

 

So that was last year, since November I’ve been thinking about what I want to read in 2017. I want a balance between books I haven’t read in forever, books that have been on my list since the dawn of time and have forgotten about and books that are new and I’m itching to read. To see what’s made it onto my list check out shelf on either Goodreads or Booklikes.

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