Author: Jamie Campbell
Publication Information: [No place: no publisher], c2013.
Library of Congress Classification: PS3603.A993466
Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Cinderella (Legendary character)—Fiction
Okay, I don’t know if this take on Cinderella can be called a novel or not, since it’s such an easy read. This story is from the perspective not of the poor, abused child who grows into Cinderella, but one of her “ugly” stepsisters, Anna, narrates the tale. Anna admits that she is not good-looking, and that everyone knows how beautiful Cinderella is. When Cinderella’s father marries her mother and the girls come to live together, there is happiness. Only when the father gets sick and dies do things take a turn for the worse. The stepmother withdraws not only from Cinderella but also from her own daughters, whom she begins to order about to try and make them suitable matches for rich men; the family is heading for penury.
According to Anna, Cinderella withdraws completely from the stepmother and her stepsisters. Anna blames the death on the changes in her mother and in Cinderella. The mother she knew is gone, to be replaced by a task-master and a harpy. There’s no physical abuse of the step-sisters or Cinderella; Cinderella chooses to continue to do the worst tasks because, according to Anna, it is a way to take her mind off the pain she feels at the loss of her father.
One fun scene is when Charming shows up with the slipper to try on Anna and her sister. Anna admits to having the same shoe-size as Cinderella (they used to wear each other’s shoes), and she’s terrified that she’ll fit into the shoe. (She doesn’t like Charming.) And where is Cinderella? Anna wonders.
It’s a fun, breezy read as well as a nice twist on the fairy tale.