a look at an excellent other-worldly examination of the "real" Cinderella story!
|“Godmother: the Secret Cinderella Story” is a book that I would urge anyone with even the slightest interest in the fantasy /alternate reality genre to try. It may not be to everyone’s tastes, as reality does tend to intrude on the story in a very big way, but in the end, the reader is left wondering just what is real, and what...isn’t.
In Lil, the author (Carolyn Turgeon) has created a heroine so lucid and eloquent that one hangs on her every word. As the tale unfolds, the protagonist reveals more and more of herself, and of the popular fairy-tale character of Cinderella, she of glass slipper fame. If you’re looking for the cutesy Disney-fied version of this character, don’t bother. The author’s portrayal is much closer to what the original creators, the Brothers Grimm (aptly named, in this instance!) had in mind. In fact, the crux of the story lies between Lil and Cinderella, and the age-old triangle (albeit one quite unlike any other) involving who else but? The handsome prince, who may (or may not!) turn out to be the man of their dreams.
Shifting seamlessly between fey and human realms in the middle ages, and modern-day New York City, this story takes the reader by the hand and leads them gently from suspension of disbelief to utter unbelief at the reality that would seem to permeate the ending. Along the way, the author treats us to dreamy, almost lyrical prose, tragedy, and a number of twists and turns that leave the reader gasping. Fans of Margaret Laurence can revel in the prose, as Carolyn Turgeon’s writing is very reminiscent of it (yes, it’s that good!), and the character of Lil puts me very much in mind of Hagar from “The Stone Angel” (most notably her pragmatism and determination), particularly towards the end of the book.
“Godmother” is that rarest of finds---a book which has a haunting, ethereal quality, as well as a story that stays with the reader long after the book is laid down. All in all, this is one read you won’t soon forget!
My rating? 5 out of 5 stars, as this is a book that cries out to be read again (and again!).