Sunday, August 7, 2011

What I Read This Weekend

What I Read This Weekend . . .

The Rose Bride : A Retelling of "The White Bride and the Black Bride" (Once Upon a Time) by Nancy Holder -- Young Adult Fairy Tale

Once upon a time in the Land of Beyond, the Crown Prince Jean-Marc marries the lovely Lucienne. The priest of Zeus prophesies a son will be born and heal two broken hearts. Once upon a time in the Forested Land, Rose Marchand waits for her father to arrive home for her 13th birthday. Her loving father has been off chasing more gold for a very long time and Rose and her mother Celestine are left waiting for him to return. All Rose wants for is the love of her father. In the rose garden, Celestine prays to the statue of the goddess Artemis that her daughter will always know she is loved for true love never dies and when one has true love, one will always be safe. Celestine gets her wish and Rose must learn her lesson through extreme hardships. She must be brave and remember she is loved if she is to survive the wicked magical plotting of her step-mother and step-sister. Rose tries to remember those who loved her and when she needs a boost, Artemis is there to help. Finally, Rose must help another remember what it is to love and be loved. This story is a typical fairy tale similar to Cinderella. It's well-written and well-developed, but I'm not a big fan of traditional fairy tales so this book just didn't appeal to me. 

 The Crimson Thread :A Retelling of "Rumplestiltskin" (Once Upon a Time)  by Suzanne Weyn -- Young Adult Fairy Tale

In 1880, Bridget O'Malley and her family arrive in New York City, land of opportunity. They have the best apartment $5 can get, which happens to be in a dirty, smelly tenement. Bridget is horrified and disgusted with New York but her father, ever the dreamer, has big dreams and plans. When her father and brothers get in trouble for fighting at work, they must seek new identities and new jobs. Posing as a Welshman named Miller, her father talks his way into a job as a coachman for the wealthy textile manufacturer J.P. Wellington. Not content with that, her father then bluffs his way to getting jobs for the rest of the family, all except the youngest two children. Bridget, now called Bertie, will work as an apprentice seamstress to the Wellington family dressmaker. Bertie's head is turned by the handsome charming James Weelington. Bertie has to juggle working with caring for her younger siblings and when life gets rough, a young vagabond who calls himself Ray Stalls is there by her side. Ray offers his help when Bertie's father once again stretches the truth about Bertie's sewing abilities and claims she can practically spin straw into gold and create the beautiful fashions the Park Avenue girls desire. Ray asks for nothing in return for his help except a kiss. Bertie refuses to sell herself so Ray demands her first born child. Bertie takes his request as a joke and they part in anger. Bertie gets caught up in a whirlwind of success but when she loses the one that's most important to her, she fears Ray has claimed his payment. Now she must discover his real name and find out where she is to get her own back. This is more of a historical fiction novel than fairy tale. The prologue and epilogue seem tacked on to make it more fairy tale. Since I love historical fiction, I enjoyed this take on the familiar tale. It's realistic for the most part and there are some great period details. There's little to no magic so don't expect a traditional take on the tale. I liked Bertie and could relate to her. I found the secondary characters were pretty much stock characters. The ending is rushed and unrealistic and that was a big turn-off for me. The book isn't as good as Water Song but I liked it.

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