Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story – Carolyn Turgeon – 288 pages
“Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home 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 unite with her Prince Charming. … But then one day she meets Veronica–a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with a love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men–and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she’s been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for….” -Random House website
I’ve been lazy with the writing of plot summaries lately, but when the publisher’s website does it well, who am I to resist? At any rate, Godmother was a mixed bag for me. When I read the description I quoted above, it sounds like something I’d want to read–and it was along the right lines. You had some elements, like the fairies’ underwater home, that were unique and surprising. Your prose was generally lovely, too, and you did a great job with crafting some mystery around Lil and revealing only little bits of back story at a time. The flow and the organization was good, and I was with you. Then I hit the “twist” at the end, and the whole thing was soured for me. You pulled an Alice in Wonderland, and I felt tricked, like I’d been denied what could have been a genuinely interesting fantasy novel or (with some changes) a fascinating novel about the human psyche. It turned out to be neither, and I was pretty disappointed.
Even so, I don’t like to end a review on a bad note. I rather enjoyed myself up until the end, and I can see why people who aren’t me might appreciate the twist. Three stars in my opinion, but as always, that’s just my opinion.
Books this year: 95
Pages this year: 18,442