Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Book Review // Before Midnight: A Cinderella Retelling by Cameron Dokey // Guest post by Ekaterina


Before Midnight: A Cinderella Retelling by Cameron Dokey ~ Guest post by Ekaterina


How do you know about yourself? What are your stories? The ones you tell yourself, and the ones told by others. All of us begin somewhere. Though I suppose the truth is that we begin more than once; whether our lives are short or long. Until at last our beginnings come down to just one end, and the tale of who we are is done.

After reading those very first words of the book, I think that is when I was drawn into the book. The yarn then started to wrap around me so that I couldn’t get out of the story. 

I liked how Cinderella was known as La Cendrillon in this retelling. In a lot of fairytales, it is hard for me to connect with the main character, since they usually appear perfect, which I am not. I like reading stories with perfect characters, but I don’t usually feel connected with the characters. That is how I felt toward La Cendrillon during the second part of the book. This was probably because the book finished rather quickly. For the first part of the book, I felt as if I did connect with La Cendrillon. She lived in the country and got her hands dirty with gardening, for example. She had her struggles and I was able to identify with her because of those struggles.

There is another important character in the book that makes this retelling different than the original story. His name is Raoul. He was brought to La Cendrillon’s house at the beginning of the novel by her father and does not know who he is or who his parents are. This becomes a struggle for him as he grows older because he continually wishes to go on in life, but feels like he can’t because he doesn’t know who he is.

Unlike the original story of Cinderella, which portrays the stepmother as evil, and the stepsisters as mean, this story really shows only one stepsister being mean and later on gives the reason why. I liked the stepmother in this book because she was not cruel like I expected her to be from the other stories, but was suffering from a marriage with no love…which brings me to probably the main reason why this book was enjoyable. 

I loved how love was shown in the book. Everything that the characters did, seemed to happen because of their love. For example, La Cendrillon’s father despises her because he believes she caused the death of her mother, who he loved so much. Here is one statement mentioned about love in the book, 'Love so joyfully and freely given can never be taken away. It is never truly gone.' I think that this statement accurately shows perhaps the message of love throughout the book. The more I think about it, this retelling is a story of love and not just the type of love between a boy and a girl.

I would give this 4 out of 5 stars because it was a really beautiful and sweet story, but the book ended a tad too fast, which is why one star is missing. If you like a sweet story that is a quick read, I would definitely recommend this book. :)

Thanks Heidi for letting me participate in this party!

~     ~     ~

Note from Heidi: Thank you so much for sharing, Ekaterina!  I'm getting most intrigued about this retelling and looking forward to reading it! :)

19 comments:

  1. I love this book! I got it several years ago for Christmas and since that time I have collected most of Dokey's Once Upon a Time Series. (There are a few however, that I really don't like...so I don't own them!)
    I like this version because with every retelling I see, of Cinderella, I can't help seeing how wrong and weak Cinderella's father is when he remarries. (Which just irritates me!) He sees how his daughter is treated and yet he doesn't do anything about it because of the new women in his life. (Yes, in most recognized versions the father dies without knowing Cinderella's fate but in others he is well aware.) I wish that Cinderella's father had somehow been different. It could change the entire fairytale of course but I can't help wishing his character would grow even the smallest backbone for his daughter's sake. So I liked the role reversal in this book. A step-mother that Cendrillon at least comes to understand and respect and a step-daughter that is a little more self-centered and therefore not as agreeable towards Cendrillon.
    Sorry, I was fine with the ending, I will only differ from you on that. ;)
    I may be bias because I liked the book but I think you did a very good job with this review, Ekaterina! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's neat that you have an actual copy. I have read almost all of the Once Upon a Time series, but I don't own any copies.

      I haven't thought much about Cinderella's father, but you're right. It is pretty weak of him to remarry.

      I don't mind differing. If everyone liked what everyone else liked, then life would be boring. I really loved this book and I am also biased for it. When I was writing the review, though, I tried to be unbiased.

      Delete
  2. Wow, this book sounds like a lot of fun! I think I just might have to go see if it's in our library! :) Thank you for doing the review, Ekaterina, it was great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read your comment below, and I wish your library had a copy. :( Wouldn't it be lovely if there was one library in the world that contained every book that was ever written, from ancient texts to the newest books that are self published.

      Delete
  3. That's a wonderful quote--"love so joyfully and freely given can never be taken away." I like that :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree, it's a really beautiful quote! :)

      Delete
  4. Found the book at the library; I can't wait to read it : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohhh...lucky you! :D My library doesn't have it, unfortunately :(

      Delete
    2. Yay!! I'm so glad your library has it! :)

      Delete
  5. I've never heard of this, but the quotes you included and what you mentioned from it have me intrigued, Ekaterina! It sounds quite wonderful. Must keep my eye open for this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have found that quotes also make me intrigued about books. When I was writing the review, I felt that I had to quote a little bit from the book, so you would get the feeling from the book. When I was reading your review on Till We Have Faces, it was the quotes in your review that caused me to finally pick up the book and read it.

      I hope you have a chance to read it! :)

      Delete
  6. I don't read a lot of retellings like this, but you've convinced me to try this one! Nice review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm happy my review has convinced you to read the book. I hope when you read the book, you'll enjoy it as much as I did. :)

      Delete
  7. Lovely review Ekaterina! You should totally start a blog. (-: I want to read this Cinderella retelling now, because I'm kind of a sucker for a good and new spin on an old story. The Rouel character sounds intriguing...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't think I would want to start a blog just now. I am thinking about it, but I'm not sure yet.

    Raoul's character is interesting, but I can't talk to much about him because I'm trying not to give any spoilers. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lovely review, I may give the book a try at some point. ❤

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! When I was writing it, I wasn't sure how good the review was, so I'm glad it turned out nice. :-)

      Delete
  10. Thank you again so much for the lovely review, Ekaterina... I've officially placed a hold on this at the library and looking forward to reading! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for letting me write this review. I was scared at first because I've never done this before, but it was actually a lot of fun!

      I'm so glad your library has a copy! I'm very curious to know what you think about it. :-)

      Delete

Oh, you're thinking of leaving a comment! How entirely lovely -- thank you and please do!! :) I just ask that all comments be God-honoring and edifying. (And btw, I LOVE comments on old posts! ;))

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...