Monday, August 23, 2010


I've given you what you thought you wanted, but it's not enough.

Cinderella wished for happily ever after. She married her prince and found out that happily ever after only happens in fairy tales. . . and her current life isn't a fairy tale.

Cinderella's current life is one of adjustment, fear, longing for a past she is only just beginning to remember, and for a future where love exists outside the spell of a fairy godmother giving Cinderella what you thought you wanted.

Michelle effortlessly creates a world ouside the Disney-fied (nope, not a word, but I'm using it) imagery so closely associated, and a bit beyond the Brothers Grimm's intentions, with the classic fairy tale. From a palace filled with darkness and shadows, blood on the floors, to burnt out villages, to 'dark maroon ground' that 'spreads itself straight to the edge', and a 'watery horizon in the distance churned', and . . . so very much more.

Gone, and not in a bad way, are the glittering visions painted forth in the Disney version of Cinderella. Here is a realistic world where both light and darkness exists, and where the darker depths of humanity shine forth as those in power play out their games of power, oppressing those they fear, and embracing the past so fiercely they cannot set their feet on a path toward a different future.

You must control your future now. It is a choice.

The above words are spoken by Eolande, Cinderella's fairy godmother, and define the journey Cinderella takes throughout the pages of Cinders.

Life is about choices - good, bad, or indifferent. Cinderella makes all of these, some with devastating consequences. In the end, magic aside, a spell broken . . . or not . . . Cinderella must face her doubts, her indecision, and forge a life that is enough . . . for her.

I loved this book. Okay, there were parts I didn't love. I love the fact that Michelle created a compelling, entirely fallible woman. I loved Cinderella (the character). I hated her. I empathized with her.

Cinderella doubts herself. She struggles with who she wants to be, who she has become, and who she might become.

In the end, Cinderella must face all the decisions she made, the reasons she made them, and decide what the future holds for her. Whatever she might have wished for, whatever her fairy godmother granted her, the next steps in her life are entirely up to Cinderella: You must control your future now.


You can get your copy of Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle at Amazon. It is also available in Ebook format on Kindle or at Smashwords.


Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Ooo, I had not heard of this one, and I love a good Cinderella reinvention. Adding to my TBR list. Thanks for pointing it out!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Scott, thank you for this honest, great review! I'm happy you enjoyed the book and that you've some of the essential things I tried to portray in the novel. :)


Davin Malasarn said...

Nice review, Scott.Isn't it great that Cinderella is complicated and messy in this book?

Scott said...

Shannon - Cinders is both a reinvention and a continuation of the tale . . . and in a definitely un-Disney like fashion, and with a trueness to the darkness of the original concept, rather than the watered down version of Cinderella that we've all come to know.

Michelle - you're welcome. I really did love the book.

Davin - yes, yes, and YES! I love that Cinderella is all messy and complicated. She's relatable. I think we care more about characters we, as readers, can relate to, and Michelle did a great job of making me relate to Cinderella. I mean, who the heck doesn't have doubts about themselves and their relationships? Second guessing ourselves is, I think, human nature . . . and Cinderella did a bang-up job of second guessing herself.

Okie said...

Nice review. This sounds like such a fun new take on the Cinderella story. I'm really looking forward to reading this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

Scott said...

Just for those wondering . . . I reposted this today. : )


Anonymous said...

I'm delighted to see Michelle's book being reviewed - tickles me when people I "know" are published. Great review, good job Michelle!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Aww, thanks!