Sunday, December 24

Book Review: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Author: Gregory Maguire
Title: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, & Retelling
Format: Paperback
Pages: 372
Published: October 6, 1999
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Flint Library Book Sale)

We have all 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 looks?

Set against the 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. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household -- and the treacherous truth of her former life.

I'm trying SOOO hard to get through my TBR pile reading challenge. This is 11 out of 12! ONE MORE LEFT!

So here we have a retelling of the Ugly Stepsisters, Evil Stepmom, and Cindie. We all know the original story, but in this, we will see them all in 17th century Holland and in the point of view of Iris, one of the stepsisters, and their origin story. 

I struggled hardcore with this one. I was totally invested in the first 50 pages or so and then...I just stopped caring. I pushed through because 1) I wanted to be able to finish this and count it towards my challenge and 2) a small part of me wanted to see what would happen to the sisters and Clara (aka Cinderella). There was some mystery afoot. 

Sadly, this wasn't for me. I may try this again someday. I do plan on giving a second chance reading to at least one (or two) book(s) a year starting in 2024. I'm going to call it something like Carole's Second Chance or something clever and let people vote on what they want me to try again. 

But yes, I didn't vibe with this book. It seemed to drag on and on and on forever. I was just itching to see things happen, but it took so long. 

One thing I will say is that I truly appreciated the new setting of Holland. I also LOVED the fact that the author intertwined the Tulip mania. Nice touch. 

Overall, not for me. Some nice little things here and there so maybe I'll try it again someday. I'll give this 2 stars. Not for me sadly. 

- #11 TBR Pile Reading


Blodeuedd said...

Oh no a miss :(

Carole Rae said...

Sadly so. I had a decent run lol