I loved this book so much. The story of Drosselmeier, the wood carver whose enchanted journey leads to the creation of the soldier brought to life in "The Nutcracker," is steeped in German fairy tale symbolism. Maguire’s retelling is richly intricate, winding, and mesmerizing. Recommended By Aubrey W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the beloved #1 New York Times bestseller Wicked, the magical story of a toymaker, a nutcracker, and a legend remade...
Gregory Maguire returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him.
Hiddensee: An island of white sandy beaches, salt marshes, steep cliffs, and pine forests north of Berlin in the Baltic Sea, an island that is an enchanting bohemian retreat and home to a large artists' colony — a wellspring of inspiration for the Romantic imagination...
Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann — the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann's mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier — the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's fairy tale ballet — who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.
But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults — a fascination with death and the afterlife — and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless? Ultimately, Hiddensee offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share.
"Maguire’s characteristic tone is dark and enchanting in his newest fairy tale revision...a powerful story of hope and redemption sure to delight his fans." Booklist (Starred Review)
"A delightful, mystical, mythical confection by zeitgeist whisperer Maguire...A splendid revisitation of folklore that takes us to and from familiar cultural touchstones into realms to make Freud blanch. Wonderful." Kirkus (Starred Review)
About the Author
Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.