Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story By Carolyn Turgeon Publication date: March 3rd, 2009
I think this is my favorite book of 2009, so far. All the books I’ve read so far just keep getting better and better, but this book blew me away right from the start.
Reading the back synopsis, the premise felt very “girly” to me.
Lil is an old women who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings — the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to meet, fall in love with, and marry Prince Charming.
We all know the story of Cinderella, the classic rags to riches, true love story that every little girls dreams about. Carolyn Turgeon takes a severe twist to the story. What if Cinderella never made it to the ball? What if her fairy godmother fell in love with the prince and went to the ball herself. What if, this same fairy godmother was expelled from the fairy world for her transgressions and nearly 100 years later is given a chance at redemption through people in her live in New York City.
The writing is sharp, it sucks you in like a vaccuum (for lack of a better word). I could not put this book down. Turgeon delved into the psychology behind Cinderella, the abused and misused servent we all know and on some level relate to. But how much of her abuse and neglect is really examined in all the re-tellings of her story? Definitely not in the Disney movies. Cinderella is very emotionally broken, and Lilian, the fairy godmother happens to have an identity crisis at the same time she should be ushering Cinderella to her destiny.
The story goes back and forth between Lil’s memories of her past life, of her attempts to get Cinderella to the ball, and her present. In present day New York City, Lil works for a small downtown bookstore before meeting the perfect girl to set up as a date for her boss, who happens to be going to a charity ball. Lil has a chance at redemption, at helping Veronica find her true love. The story is dark, the ending lacked any loose strings, everything was neatly wrapped up, and in an unexpected way. Turgeon has a real skill at description:
I sat on her bed, suddenly feeling as if my chest were collapsing in on itself. I was astonished at what happened next. My throat opened. Hot liquid ran from my eyes and down my face. Droplets moved down my chin to the silk of my dress. I stood and walked to the glass, peering at myself. I had never felt anything like it. The ache! The tears that wet my skin. My eyes were bright green and filled with water.
I really hope anyone reading this review goes to pick up this book. It is exquisite and I look forward to adding the rest of Carolyn Turgeon’s books onto my TBR list.
FINAL GRADE: A+Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon Three Rivers Press, March 3rd, 2009 ISBN 0307407993 276 pages