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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story


 Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story  by Carolyn Turgeon

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (March 3, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0307407993

From Booklist
In a decidedly different take on Cinderella, Turgeon limns the travails of Lil, the fairy godmother chosen to ensure that, because she is fated to marry the prince, Cinderella gets to the ball. Lil, however, lets herself feel human emotions, falls in love with the prince, and goes to the ball in Cinderella’s place. The fairy elders banish her to the human world, where she lives, wings furled and bound behind her back, as an old woman working in a tiny Manhattan rare-book store. This take on the tale unfolds in alternating first-person accounts, one of Lil in the past, the other of Lil in the present, yearning to rejoin her sister and friends in the fairy world and finding a way to redeem herself when she meets Veronica, a vibrant young woman, and realizes that by finding a soul mate for Veronica, she could make up for that night so long ago. Lil is complex and appealing, and vivid imagery and lyrical writing give shape to a charmer with a very satisfying, enigmatic ending.

I have to say that the, short 10 page, first chapter of this book couldn't have captured me any more than this one did!

Being an old female I could relate!

Well.. except for the wings!

I have to give you a paragraph that made me wonder why I wasn't the one to write this!

It's hot breath steamed up the windows, and my face stared back at me from the glass. The wrinkled, hanging skin, the dull hair that spiraled out like wires, the sunken dark eyes.  I hated catching myself this way, by surprise.  "This is not who I am," I thought.  Sometimes, I ached so badly for my former beauty that I wanted to pull off my skin like an old robe.

Wow, I thought... am I a fairy godmother too????

According to the photo of the author, Carolyn Turgeon, she is not that old, so I am shocked at how well she seems to know things that go through an old woman's mind!  Maybe she is one of the few that really listened to their grandmother when she talked.  Whatever it was... she really hit the nail on the head in this book.

Even with  my current lack of concentration I found it hard to set this book down. Which is remarkable.   Heck, I  have found that I am not a lover of "re-told" fairy tales and certainly not thrilled with books that bring things "up to date".. I read to escape !  I don't want to read about things I can see any time I want to...  knowing all of this, you'd think this book would not be for me.  

The whole time I was reading this book I found myself wondering how she got inside of an old woman to know the many feelings one has when one is old.  She did a remarkable job writing this book.

It would be a lie if I said I didn't wish the ending was something different from what it was.. but it all made sense for that particular ending.  I guess I wish it had stayed more of a fairy tale at the end. 

This was a really exceptional book.  One I didn't expect.  It guess on many levels it just hit home with me.  I am guessing this book would be more to the liking of females but men could learn a few things by reading it!

(FYI) This is a small, light book... the right size for a trip on a train or plane.

A number of times throughout the book the "Cottingley Fairies" were mentioned.  I don't know if you  know about them... it was a true story, and even Conan Doyle got involved in it.  It seems some children in England photographed themselves with fairies and all the "specialists" couldn't prove that the photo's weren't authentic. 

A movie was made about it. It's called Fairytale: A True Story   if you've never seen it you should.  It's a pretty neat movie.

Thus concludes the third book for Once Upon a Time. (Quest the First)


Blogger Molly said...

I have Turgeon's book on hold at the library and can't wait to pick it up and start reading it.

I LOVE the picture pairing the book with the pumpkin -- very clever!

6:58 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I've actually seen that movie! It's been a long while, but I remember liking it a lot. And I bet I'd like this book too. One more for the good old wishlist.

7:36 AM  
Blogger jenclair said...

I think I've read another positive review on this one. Love the excerpt you included! Adding it to the list, and thanks!

8:57 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Thanks Molly. I hope you like the books when you read it!

Nymeth: love the movie.. it's referred to a number of times in the book.. it was incorporated really well.

jenclair: I don't know if young people will relate to it the way I did. For the younger it might be considered a "study of age".. all too much of it being true. This is certainly a case of the author doing her homework and doing it well.

9:36 AM  
Blogger me said...

I love retellings. I can't wait to read this one. It will be nice to read a book where the "hero" isn't 16-25...

10:36 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I can tell you liked this one! You breezed through it! Sounds really good. And I hadn't heard of the Cottingley Fairy movie!! I'll definitely be checking that out. Now stop calling yourself old! ;)

1:47 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

me: ohhh I can promise you she isn't 16-25!!! This was unususal in that way since most "old" folks in fantasy books are the "live nearly forever" sorcerers.

Chris: yeah related to this book a lot! old is old baby boy.. and the distinct possibility of living in a senior place where all my neighbors will be dieing doesn't make my outlook and brighter. I've had my fill of death for it's hard to look forward to living among more that may die before me. My "bright" moments fade with each day... but I love you baby boy.. and you are going to help a lot of young people yet to come!!

2:43 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This sounds like a wonderful book, though maybe a little deprsssing for those of us over 75...(Coming up on 78 in two months...OY!)
But you make it sound so special, Pat......I might just have to give this one a try....!

5:44 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

I'm not much for retold fairy tales either but this sounds a bit different. Glad you enjoyed it.

5:59 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

naomi: it's not so depressing as a bit "sad".. but i did find that the author, though not very old, sure hit the nail on the head a lot with how an old person feel about many things!

Cath: it was memorable. and it didn't pull any punches or end happily ever after!

6:10 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Really, really, really want to read this one (and I believe your review just made it worse)!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Kailana said...

I am glad you enjoyed this! I haven't had time to work my way through it yet because of my library pile, but I am looking forward to getting back to it!

3:34 PM  
Blogger Kim L said...

Retold fairy tales are my fav, so I'm pumped you found one you liked. I haven't read this yet, but it sure sounds interesting! A very different take on the tale, for sure.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Miss D. said...

Ooh, this looks like fun. I love cinderella stories. I'll keep my eye out for this one. I love it when authors 'get it right'.

10:41 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

sorry I didn't get to respond to these last few comments.. I had a couple of bad days..

Tink: though it was sad in some parts I did like the way this was written!

kelly: I got to enjoy it because I could relate to the "old lady" so well lol

Kim: I rarely like retold fairytales so you know this is exceptional!

miss d: generally I don't know if they get it right or not lol.. but since I'm old, I can say: "she got it right" lol

5:56 AM  
Blogger Rhinoa said...

This sounds like a lovely book and it is definitely going on my list. I loved Fairy Tale and it has been far too long since I have watched it. I must get a copy!

6:46 AM  

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