When I was a little girl I loved fairy-tales. Yes… I know, that’s not all that far fetched of an idea, but being the abnormal child that I was, I never wanted to be the princess. Pretty dresses and sparkly crowns were great, but I was much more intrigued by the wicked witches or evil stepsisters. Why? I would ask myself as I sat in my room, books like Snow White and Cinderella strewn in a circle around me. Why are they doing this to her? Why are they so mean? What was it exactly that Cinderella did to them to deserve such treatment, (cause lets face it, nobody is that mean for just the hell of it.) <– insert sarcasm.
Little has changed for me in the last 20 years and the older I get the more intrigued I am with the fairy-tales I read as a child. Maybe it’s the simple fact that I have a daughter of my own now, (and God bless her soul she is a girly as they get.) Maybe it’s my unconscious need to instill the love of reading in my mini-clones, who knows. The one thing I am certain of however it my overactive imagination and my love of continuations.
What is a continuation exactly? Well, in the words of Mr. Paul Harvey it’s “…The rest of the story.”
Once upon a time… a girl lost her shoe, a few months later that same girl married a prince. Great right? Not if everything was a lie. As Cinderella (aka Christina) settles into her new life as a member of the royal family she starts to realize things aren’t what she expected them to be. Yes, Prince Charming is exactly what he is supposed to be (charming, attentive, understanding) but regardless of his peaches and cream exterior Cinderella just can’t stop her wandering mind. Who is this mysterious man she feels so drawn to? Why is her “Fairy God Mother” suddenly up on the chopping block, and are the ever elusive “winter sprites” good or evil?
Continuations are an interesting breed of fiction. While we KNOW the story, we don’t actually KNOW the story until it is retold. I know, that made NO sense so let me explain. We all know the story of Cinderella, we know where she was, and how she got where she currently resides, but what we don’t know is what happened when the author stopped writing. This is where the NEW author (in this case Michelle Davidson Argyle) STARTS her story. Some of these attempts are total failures. No, scratch that… the majority of these attempts are failures, so I am genuinely surprise when I find once I consider decent. Was it jaw dropping wonderful? No. There were points in the novella where Argyle let her plot twist circles around itself. Is it for everyone? Again, no… Argyle took a traditional story and slapped it with the “deceitful magic stick.” Am I glad I read it? Yes… absolutely. Overall, Argyle’s writing was great. Her character development was spot on, she was intuitive enough to include supporting actors in her story, and the emotional confusion she wrote into Cinderella’s personality was definitely convincing.
So here is my suggestion to you as a reader. If you like to experience the “other half” of an already told tale, chances are you will enjoy “Cinders,” but if you like the existence you were already handed, if you don’t want to rub holes in your precious childhood memories, or be slapped with an alternate reality… this one might be a pass for you.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: if you have small children there is nothing better than showing them a world inside their own head.
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