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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Is this new land a place where magics really happen?

From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second novel, a brilliant and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella tale.

In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats....

We all have heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty... and what curses accompanied Cinderella's exquisite looks?

Extreme beauty is an affliction...

Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.

Clara was the prettiest child, but was her life the prettiest tale?

While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, burning all memories of her past, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household — and the treacherous truth of her former life.

God and Satan snarling at each other like dogs.... Imps and fairy godmotbers trying to undo each other's work. How we try to pin the world between opposite extremes!

Far more than a mere fairy-tale, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed — and love unveiled — in the most unexpected of places.

Review:

"There was a time, long ago, when Cinderella was simply a children's tale in which good triumphed over bad, pretty over ugly, pumpkins and mice over carriages and footmen....Now, the story has much more depth. Gregory Maguire has applied his devilish writing style and vivid imagination to the story of the glass slipper, and, in doing so, turned this simple tale into a Gothic saga of 17th-century Holland." Fort Worth Morning Star-Telegram

Review:

"Highly absorbing...Maguire's precise, slightly archaic language...sweeps readers through this mysterious and fascinating story." Booklist

Review:

"[An] engrossing story...endearing and memorable." Boston Herald

Review:

"[An] arresting hybrid of mystery, fairy tale, and historical novel." Detroit Free Press

Review:

"A tale so movingly told that you will say at the end of the first reading, 'Its been a long time since Ive read a book this good." Nashville Tennessean

Synopsis:

Gregory Maguire proves himself to be “one of contemporary fictions most assured myth-makers” (Kirkus Reviews) with Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, his ingenious and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella fairy tale. Perhaps best known for his dark and breathtaking Oz series The Wicked Years — including the novel Wicked, which inspired the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical — Maguire is a master at upending the ordinary to help us see the familiar in a brilliant new light.

Synopsis:

The acclaimed author of Wicked conjures up a fresh perspective on the timeless tale of Cinderella in this provocative, superbly written story about the true meaning of beauty. Line drawings throughout.

About the Author

Gregory Maguire received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University. His work as a consultant in creative writing for children takes him to speaking engagements across the United States and abroad. He is a founder and codirector of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987. The author of numerous books for children, Mr. Maguire is also a contributor to Am I Blue?: Coming Out From the Silence, a collection of short stories for gay and lesbian teenagers.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

MadisonRobyn, January 7, 2013 (view all comments by MadisonRobyn)
I always enjoyed books that hsow the "other side". Truth is not always Black and White.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
emmejo, August 24, 2009 (view all comments by emmejo)
We are all familiar with the story of Cinderella. We know what happened, or so we think. But what about the stepsisters? Who were they and what did they think about Cinderella? How did they end up as Cinderella's stepsisters? Were they really evil? This book attempts to show the story from a different light.

I thought this book would be very good. It has many excellent reviews and sounds like a fascinating plot. I was sorely disappointed. The writing dragged and was not very interesting. The characters were underdeveloped and flat. I was having to force myself to finish it. I don't recommend this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Chad, February 24, 2009 (view all comments by Chad)
maguire continuously creates elaborate landscapes of familiar tales, with unimaginable details and lives. "confessions" gives readers a compassionate heart for the ugly stepsisters in this alternate view of a classic tale, Cinderella. this story is based in a different reality, one that follows the harsh tulip trade and decline. if you thought that Cinderella was a saint that sings with the animals in the disney version, maguire will quickly change how you see her, and her ugly stepsisters...
maguire has successfully made it to the top of my favorite authors list.
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(1 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060987527
Author:
Maguire, Gregory
Publisher:
ReganBooks
Illustrator:
Sanderson, Bill
Author:
by Gregory Maguire
Author:
by Gregory Maguire
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Beauty, Personal
Subject:
Fairy tales
Subject:
Netherlands
Subject:
Cinderella (Legendary character)
Subject:
Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
Haarlem
Subject:
Stepsisters
Subject:
Fiction-Historical - General
Subject:
Fiction-Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20001031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
7 x 7 in 3.12 oz

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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 384 pages ReganBooks - English 9780060987527 Reviews:
"Review" by , "There was a time, long ago, when Cinderella was simply a children's tale in which good triumphed over bad, pretty over ugly, pumpkins and mice over carriages and footmen....Now, the story has much more depth. Gregory Maguire has applied his devilish writing style and vivid imagination to the story of the glass slipper, and, in doing so, turned this simple tale into a Gothic saga of 17th-century Holland."
"Review" by , "Highly absorbing...Maguire's precise, slightly archaic language...sweeps readers through this mysterious and fascinating story."
"Review" by , "[An] engrossing story...endearing and memorable."
"Review" by , "[An] arresting hybrid of mystery, fairy tale, and historical novel."
"Review" by , "A tale so movingly told that you will say at the end of the first reading, 'Its been a long time since Ive read a book this good."
"Synopsis" by , Gregory Maguire proves himself to be “one of contemporary fictions most assured myth-makers” (Kirkus Reviews) with Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, his ingenious and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella fairy tale. Perhaps best known for his dark and breathtaking Oz series The Wicked Years — including the novel Wicked, which inspired the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical — Maguire is a master at upending the ordinary to help us see the familiar in a brilliant new light.
"Synopsis" by , The acclaimed author of Wicked conjures up a fresh perspective on the timeless tale of Cinderella in this provocative, superbly written story about the true meaning of beauty. Line drawings throughout.

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