I postponed reading this book for two years because I kept hearing, "It's not as good as Wicked.
I'm so sorry I waited. Those who judged it on the basis of Wicked must have loved Wicked for different reasons than I. Perhaps they only like fantasy or gothic genres.
This book is a delicious historical novel set in Holland during the Reformation. It's the sort of brooding story to read on a rainy day, wrapped in a comforter in your favorite chair with a pot of tea nearby.
Rather than compare it to Wicked, I'd say that those who loved Girl with a Pearl Earring would enjoy this book.
This was my first Gregory Maguire book and its prob a good thing since all the other reviews mostly compare it to Wicked. Well I enjoyed this book very much. It was really not a "can't put it down" book for me at least. There were many parts where after 20 pgs I would be bored and go do something else. But when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it and couldn't wait to finish it. I would recommend this book to anyone. I thought the story was going to be more magical and fairy tale like but it really wasn't at all. It was about a mother and her 2 daughters who fled England from the mobbing town and end up in Holland looking for their Grandfather. Once they arrive in Holland they are faced with challenges and the mother will do anything to secure her families safety. I really disliked the mother but who doesn't in the "cinderella" story. Overall good read:)
God,this book took me forever to read.I mean forever as in about a week in a half because it was so boring. I had to force myself to read it. However,there were some very good themes in the book. For example,the beautiful Clara (Cinderella), who's ill temper caused her to be a brat but still she was a good person.Through Clara, we see that the beautiful do not always lead such charmed lives.Beauty in some cases is an affliction rather than a gift.The so-called ugly stepsisters,Iris and Ruth are ugly only in physical features but are beautiful inside. The wicked stepmother was in fact wicked. She was willing to do anything to improve her station in life,and I do mean anything. In the end, we see that beauty is only skin deep.whats on the inside really does matters more and that desperation and bad luck will make anyone a monster.
For me, Gregory Maguire is a hit or miss. Wicked took me a while to get into, but i did like it eventually. Son of a Witch? No thanks. Mirror Mirror - just okay. I really did enjoy this one, right from the start, though. While the tale of Cinderella goes way back before the one which most of us are familiar with, the most popular version sure does leave a lot explained! He did a fantastic job giving motivation and alternate explanations of the tale, without actually contradicting the version we are familiar with. It definitely was an enjoyable read, and I felt for the ugly stepsisters.
I could barely get through the first chapters when I had to put it down. I'm normally a faithful fantasy reader but I don't know...this just seemed silly to me.