My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I finally know how Cinderella got her name. I mean, who names their kid after ashes?
What really happened after the clock struck midnight?Let's be honest: the classic Disney film left a lot unexplained. Why does such a noble family have no other servants besides a stepsister, why do none of the neighbors wonder why this third girl was suddenly degraded to servant, and who the heck names their daughter Cinderella? Thankfully, The Stepsister's Tale answers these questions, and more.
Jane Montjoy is tired of being a lady. She's tired of pretending to live up to the standards of her mother's noble family-especially now that the family's wealth is gone and their stately mansion has fallen to ruin. It's hard enough that she must tend to the animals and find a way to feed her mother and her little sister each day. Jane's burden only gets worse after her mother returns from a trip to town with a new stepfather and stepsister in tow. Despite the family's struggle to prepare for the long winter ahead, Jane's stepfather remains determined to give his beautiful but spoiled child her every desire.
When her stepfather suddenly dies, leaving nothing but debts and a bereaved daughter behind, it seems to Jane that her family is destined for eternal unhappiness. But a mysterious boy from the woods and an invitation to a royal ball are certain to change her fate...
The beginning was good, the ending was great, but the middle sagged. While I was certainly interested to see what would happen next, and how they kept themselves from starving, I wanted to see more of Cinderella. I was expecting to see why the stepsisters were so cruel to her, but it turns out that she was just overeating to make people feel sorry for her. Seriously, she didn't do any work; she just sat in the ashes, trying to keep warm (hence, Isabella morphed into Cinder-ella).
I really liked Jane, the eldest "ugly" stepsister. Her mother is mentally off (like, a lot), and Maude isn't even a teenager yet, so everything fell to Jane. Jane doesn't whine though, she toughens up and makes friends with a boy of the woods, who is SUCH A SWEETIE. How could anyone not want to kiss him? I may have melted when they did.
Would I read other books by Tracy Barrett? If she writes another retelling! I'd love to see a Rapunzel one.
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Adult Content: A