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The Fairest of Them All: A Novel af Carolyn…
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The Fairest of Them All: A Novel (udgave 2013)

af Carolyn Turgeon (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
16017171,477 (3.82)6
Can Rapunzel trade the shadows of the forest for the king's castle and be the innocent beauty her beloved prince remembers?
Medlem:SamwiseJones
Titel:The Fairest of Them All: A Novel
Forfattere:Carolyn Turgeon (Forfatter)
Info:Touchstone (2013), Edition: Original, 288 pages
Samlinger:Læst, men ikke ejet
Vurdering:***
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Fairest of Them All: A Novel af Carolyn Turgeon

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» Se også 6 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 17 (næste | vis alle)
Like Mermaid before it, I enjoyed the combination and twist of multiple fairy tales wound together, in this case, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, as well as Turgeon's storytelling. By a twist of fate, and more than a little scheming on Mathena's (Mother Gothel's) part, Rapunzel finds herself stepmother to Snow White. However, instead of being the purely evil queen the character has been portrayed as in previous reimaginings of the classic tale, Rapunzel really wants to have a happy, perfect family with the King, Josef, and Snow White.

Unfortunately, Rapunzel eventually discovers she has been nothing more than a pawn in her mother's plan for revenge against the monarchy and she falls prey to the jealousy of Snow White stereotypical of the evil stepmother archetype. Thus ensues the expected plan to eradicate the beloved Snow White. Also, like Mermaid, the twist is a dark one and a happy ending is far from guaranteed.

Fairest of Them All took me over a month to read, a mark that I was struggling a bit to make it through and my only complaint is that far too little actually happens in Turgeon's retelling for the fact that it spans nearly two decades. While backstory is important, here the same information could have been covered in flashbacks or another more palatable method. ( )
  smorton11 | Oct 29, 2022 |
What if Rapunzel became Snow White's evil stepmother? In this tale, Rapunzel falls in love with a prince, but he is already betrothed to a princess from a neighboring kingdom. Will she ever be able to be with her true love?

That's a very over-simplified summary, as I didn't want to give anything away. I'm usually a big fan of fairy tale retellings and remixes, but this one didn't do it for me. My main issue, which may not bother others, is that I found Rapunzel unlikeable, and since the story is entirely from her perspective, it made reading a bit of a slog. There's plenty of darkness and complexity here, and I did like how the author portrayed the relationship between Rapunzel and Snow White. I also found it interesting how she wove in various aspects of the original tales. The writing was a little overwrought in places, and I was bothered all the time about the logistics of Rapunzel's hair (it's magic, I know, but I still kept stumbling over questions of how she wrapped it up if there was so much of it, etc.). If you like dark fairy tale retellings and don't mind an unlikeable narrator, this might be your cup of tea, even though it wasn't mine. ( )
  foggidawn | Jul 22, 2022 |

This is 4.5 enthralling star book for me. The author asks the question .. .what if Rapunzel was Snow White's mother? My head was spinning picturing Disney's Snow White and Rapunzel from Tangled along with the Hunter from Once Upon a Time.

Fairest of Them All was wickedly clever and daring. ( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
I normally don't care for modern retellings of fairy tales -- I think that they almost never work. They tend to lose their magic when turned into, usually, short stories written in a contemporary style, and brought forward to contemporary times.

Turgeon, however, is outstanding in this book, up until the end. Part of her success is that she places the story in what I would suppose is an early medieval setting. She builds vivid scenes and characters, and magic doesn't become metaphorical or symbolic. A lot of the story arises from the tensions as Christianity comes to the kingdom, and the old magic is forbidden and its practitioners killed. Rapunzel knows little about this, however. She lives with Mathena Gothel in a house constructed from the remains of a ruined castle. They tend their garden, hunt, and Mathena teaches Rapunzel both herb-craft and magic, although the latter is kept hidden.

Unbeknownst to Rapunzel, her life will become subject to to hidden motives, old hatreds, and subterranean plots. The widowed king with whom she is smitten returns to marry her, and she forms a close relationship with his daughter, Snow White. The previous queen was well loved, and the court does not want to accept Rapunzel as queen. Snow White becomes a teenager, with the difficult behavior that adolescence can produce, and as a last blow, becomes more beautiful.

It is at this point that the story begins to fail for me. Rapunzel is the narrator of the story, and while she has made some bad decisions, the worst in not opposing Mathena in a diabolical scheme, I have mostly seen her as sympathetic. It is therefore hard to accept her as the moving force in the rest of the story. In the original story, Snow White's stepmother is simply vain and wicked, with no redeeming characters. Rapunzel's plotting against Snow White seems out of character and insufficiently motivated. Turgeon's attempt to redeem her later, and the relatively happy ending fall flat for me. While I am not particularly inclined to necessarily side or sympathize with the main character, just because they are the main characters, it is possible that I have been seduced by the narrator, so to speak, into being unable to switch to thinking of her as evil. The very end of Rapunzel's story seems to be trying to again portray her in a sympathetic light, however.

Usually being dissatisfied with the ending pretty much ruins the book for me, but I am still impressed enough to read more of Turgeon's work. ( )
  PuddinTame | May 30, 2021 |
I enjoy this author's takes on very familiar fairy tales. She writes versions more similar to the Grimms Brothers' originals than the Disney versions I'm more familiar with.

This tale combines the stories of Rapunzel and Snow White. They are connected smoothly in a way that you'd see on Once Upon a Time, you can believe these characters from separate stories are tied together.

I always step out of my comfort zone when I read these stories. They are dark. I'm not generally a fan of a dark story. I also know you can never wager on a happy ending in her stories. If it ends happily, it's not always tied up in a neat little bow.

I mention my personal biases because it's with respect that I read these novels and know that despite them being different from something I'd normally enjoy, I know that I will enjoy her books. ( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
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I was the girl with long long hair, trapped in the tower.
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Can Rapunzel trade the shadows of the forest for the king's castle and be the innocent beauty her beloved prince remembers?

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Carolyn Turgeon er LibraryThing-forfatter, en forfatter som har sit personlige bibliotek opført på LibraryThing.

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