Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

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9780755341696: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

“[An] engrossing story...endearing and memorable.”
Boston Herald

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

“A tale so movingly told that you will say at the end of the first reading, ‘It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book this good.’”

Nashville Tennessean

 

Gregory Maguire proves himself to be “one of contemporary fiction’s 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.

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Review:

Gregory Maguire's chilling, wonderful retelling of Cinderella is a study in contrasts. Love and hate, beauty and ugliness, cruelty and charity--each idea is stripped of its ethical trappings, smashed up against its opposite number, and laid bare for our examination. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister begins in 17th-century Holland, where the two Fisher sisters and their mother have fled to escape a hostile England. Maguire's characters are at once more human and more fanciful than their fairy-tale originals. Plain but smart Iris and her sister, Ruth, a hulking simpleton, are dazed and terrified as their mother, Margarethe, urges them into the strange Dutch streets. Within days, purposeful Margarethe has secured the family a place in the home of an aspiring painter, where for a short time, they find happiness.

But this is Cinderella, after all, and tragedy is inevitable. When a wealthy tulip speculator commissions the painter to capture his blindingly lovely daughter, Clara, on canvas, Margarethe jumps at the chance to better their lot. "Give me room to cast my eel spear, and let follow what may," she crows, and the Fisher family abandons the artist for the upper-crust Van den Meers.

When Van den Meer's wife dies during childbirth, the stage is set for Margarethe to take over the household and for Clara to adopt the role of "Cinderling" in order to survive. What follows is a changeling adventure, and of course a ball, a handsome prince, a lost slipper, and what might even be a fairy godmother. In a single magic night, the exquisite and the ugly swirl around in a heated mix:

Everything about this moment hovers, trembles, all their sweet, unreasonable hopes on view before anything has had the chance to go wrong. A stepsister spins on black and white tiles, in glass slippers and a gold gown, and two stepsisters watch with unrelieved admiration. The light pours in, strengthening in its golden hue as the sun sinks and the evening approaches. Clara is as otherworldly as the Donkeywoman, the Girl-Boy. Extreme beauty is an affliction...
But beyond these familiar elements, Maguire's second novel becomes something else altogether--a morality play, a psychological study, a feminist manifesto, or perhaps a plain explanation of what it is to be human. Villains turn out to be heroes, and heroes disappoint. The story's narrator wryly observes, "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." --Therese Littleton

From the Back Cover:

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.

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Gregory Maguire
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ISBN 10: 0755341694 ISBN 13: 9780755341696
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Descrizione libro Headline Publishing Group, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave amongst 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 is swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris s path 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. Codice libro della libreria AA69780755341696

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Gregory Maguire
Editore: Headline Publishing Group, United Kingdom (2008)
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Descrizione libro Headline Publishing Group, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave amongst 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 is swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris s path 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. Codice libro della libreria AA69780755341696

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Descrizione libro Headline Review, 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Codice libro della libreria mon0000296261

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Descrizione libro Headline Review, 2008. Condizione libro: New. 2008. Paperback. A novel of beauty and betrayal, which reminds us that deception can be unearthed - and love unveiled - in the most unexpected of places Num Pages: 416 pages, No. BIC Classification: FM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 133 x 27. Weight in Grams: 346. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780755341696

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Descrizione libro Headline Review. Condizione libro: New. 2008. Paperback. A novel of beauty and betrayal, which reminds us that deception can be unearthed - and love unveiled - in the most unexpected of places Num Pages: 416 pages, No. BIC Classification: FM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 133 x 27. Weight in Grams: 346. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780755341696

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Descrizione libro Headline Publishing Group 2008-10-02, London, 2008. paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780755341696

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Descrizione libro Headline Publishing Group. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire, We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave amongst 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 is swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path 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. Codice libro della libreria B9780755341696

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Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Not Signed; We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave amongst 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. book. Codice libro della libreria ria9780755341696_rkm

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