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Godmother (The Secret Cinderella Story)

March 24, 2009

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella StoryLil has been exiled from the fairy world, forced to live as an old women in the middle of Manhattan. She works for lonely George in his used bookstore, hiding her beautiful feathery wings by binding them underneath her clothing. It has been decades since Lil was forced to leave her fairy home, after she made the mistake of taking Cinderella’s place at the royal ball, with tragic consequences. Sent to be Cinderella’s fairy godmother, Lil falls in love with the prince and now has to live among the humans for her indiscretion.    

Lil eventually thinks of a way to redeem herself, using her fairy godmother wisdom to find true love for her bookish boss George, who has a ball he has to attend but doesn’t have a date. In comes Veronica, a young, wild girl who is a hairdresser in the city. But can she help Veronica become George’s Cinderella or is the past destined to repeat itself? Will she ever get back to her beloved Fairy-land?

The reason I first picked up this book was because of the cover. Whimsical and etheral, just like the story inside, I just love the colors and fonts used. Luckily, the story itself was just as good.

Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon is a retelling of the classic Cinderella story with a twist. To some extent, Godmother lived up to my expectations of it being an easy, light read but as I got closer to the end of the book, it took on a more intense nature. This isn’t your typical Cinderella story, with traces of abuse, suicide and violence, but those elements are what makes the book unique.

I enjoyed the tie-in of the tale of The Cottingley Fairies, a true story of two cousins in 1917 England who took photographs of themselves with fairies in their garden. The photos made them instant celebrities and it wasn’t until both girls were old women did they admit that the photos were a fake, using cut-out paper fairies as props. In the novel, Lil finds a book mentioning the famous photographs and thinks it is evidence that her fairy sisters will welcome her back to her fairy home as soon as she can redeem herself. I just love it when an author takes a well know story such as Cinderella and even the lesser known Cottingley Fairies and intricately and seamlessly weaves it into a whole new story.

I was surprised by the ending and felt that the author had done a wonderful job at creating enough twists and turns to push this book up to the next level. With a way clever storyline and ending that will keep book clubs buzzing, Godmother is a really great book written by a original voice. One of my favorite passages from Godmother:

It was hard to remember, that night of the ball. It had been so long, and I’d heard and seen so many other recountings since. I had had no way of knowing, back then, how that night would live on not only in my own memory but in all the world’s. How history would remake it, twist it into a happy tale that would set girls to dreaming centuries after.

Booking Mama mentioned in her review that the book has already been optioned to be a film. I sure hope this is true, as I would be one of the first in line to see this fairy tale come to the big screen. This was my first book read for Carl’s Once Upon a Time Challenge.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2009 1:01 pm

    Your review is terrific. I really hope a lot of people read this wonderful book!

  2. March 24, 2009 1:01 pm

    the blog is looking good. Thanks for a great review.

  3. March 24, 2009 1:12 pm

    This book sounds fun, but I doubt that I’ll get around to reading it.

    Re: The Cottingley Fairies–Those pictures looked so fake that those who thought they were real must’ve been total imebeciles! Well, it was a different time, and there wasn’t much to entertain…

  4. March 24, 2009 1:28 pm

    Great review. It’s hard to believe people couldn’t tell the fairies in that picture were fake.

  5. March 24, 2009 2:11 pm

    Oh my… got me thinking on this one now. I’m not thrilled with “retells” of stories like cinderella but I absolutely loved the movie about the Cottingly Fairies! Upon looking up just “cottingly fairies” there is one out of print book and a conan doyle book which is facts about them and not the entire story… sigh.. for now I will put godmother on the wish list and see if others review this book!

  6. March 24, 2009 3:18 pm

    Okay, after Julie’s review and yours I need to read this. It is on hold at the library now!

  7. March 24, 2009 7:47 pm

    I know there are many retellings of fairy tales, but I haven’t read any of them (with the exception of the excellent children’s book The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs). This one has sounds really good! I am interested in reading well-known stories from different points of view.

  8. March 24, 2009 8:01 pm

    Thanks for the great review! Off it goes on my wishlist!

  9. March 24, 2009 8:12 pm

    I have this one on my list. It sounds like SUCH a good story!

  10. Vasilly permalink
    March 24, 2009 9:41 pm

    This book sounds great! I’m putting it on my TBR list! What a great review!

  11. March 24, 2009 9:42 pm

    I really want to read this book. Thanks for the great review!

  12. March 24, 2009 10:12 pm

    This sounds like a gorgeous book – hope I can track down a copy over here in Australia!

  13. March 26, 2009 7:12 am

    Ohh it sounds really good. I hope my library has a copy!

  14. Bobbie Crawford-McCoy permalink
    March 26, 2009 7:11 pm

    This sounds like a book that the little girl in me, would love. 🙂
    What a great review!

    Hi, it’s Bobbie Crawford-McCoy from ‘Book Reviews By Bobbie’.
    As a book blogger and book reviewer I have come across many blogs and bloggers who have made a positive impression on me.

    So I am passing on the’ Lets Be Friends Award’ to you:
    Enjoy! 🙂

  15. March 27, 2009 5:53 am

    I am really interested in reading that one 🙂

  16. March 27, 2009 10:59 pm

    Okay, you’re review has me wanting to read this. I want to find out what the ending is.

  17. March 31, 2009 1:06 am

    I was just thinking that I would read this book based on the cover alone when I read that you were drawn in by the cover as well!

  18. rantsandreads permalink
    March 31, 2009 11:32 am

    I loved this book too. I thought it was fantastically written and I loved the final twist at the end, it seemed such a perfect finale, of sorts.

  19. March 31, 2009 1:00 pm

    I’ve just added this book to my books to get list! and I blogged about it too 😀 thanks! I see we’re reading two of the same books for Carl’s challenge too, so I’m going to be interested to see what you think of them.

  20. April 4, 2009 5:29 am

    Thank you for the great review. I have definitely put this on my list. 🙂

  21. October 27, 2009 7:00 am

    i loved the review i want to read the book when is it out please reply to my email
    thank you

  22. July 5, 2014 5:12 am

    Excellent, what a website it is! This web site presents helpful facts to us, keep it up.


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