Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister: A Novel

3.51 avg rating
( 51,591 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780060987527: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister: A Novel

“[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.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

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.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Maguire, Gregory
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
READERS PRIDE
(PLANO, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. NEW Book in Mint Condition -- Great DEAL !! Fast Shipping -- Friendly Customer Service -- Buy with Confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # RP0060987529BN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Maguire, Gregory
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800609875270000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Maguire, Gregory
Published by Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0060987529

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Gregory Maguire
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks (2000)
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow Paperbacks, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st Pbk. Ed. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060987529

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Maguire, Gregory
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2000. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VC-9780060987527

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.52
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Maguire, Gregory
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller
PBShop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2000. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780060987527

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Maguire, Gregory/ Sanderson, Bill (ILT)
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Softcover Quantity Available: 15
Seller
VNHM SHOP
(Pompano Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Softcover. Book Condition: New. "[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 novelWicked, 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. Bookseller Inventory # BAA-B-3619435

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.12
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Maguire, Gregory
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks (2000)
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow Paperbacks, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0060987529

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.57
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Maguire, Gregory
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Agora Books
(Tacoma, WA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow Paperbacks. Book Condition: New. 0060987529 Excellent condition, paperback 1999, no marks, superb cover, readit. Bookseller Inventory # MDGS-11983

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Gregory Maguire
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0060987529 ISBN 13: 9780060987527
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 232 x 154 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. [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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060987527

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.87
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book