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!
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