“What happened to Cinderella after she married the Prince? Set in the late 1700’s as Napoleon is rising to power, Cinderella embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to come to terms with her failed marriage and her inability to have a child. Torn between the Queen’s insistence that she try all means necessary to conceive and her own desires, she agrees to travel to Paris to consult with a witch to help her become pregnant. Her journey leads her to find her long lost Fairy Godmother and aids her to solve the mystery behind her mother’s death…”
Let me start off by saying “I love, love LOVE fairy tales”. I love how they have made a resurgence lately and been re-tooled with stronger female characters that don’t lose their femininity and still manages to stay away from being “Chicks in Chainmail“.
Don’t get me wrong. I definitely enjoyed Chicks in Chainmail back in the day and am giddy that I found them on kindle, but when it comes to fairy tales, I want my princesses/heroines/main female characters with a little softness to them.
One thing I always wondered about fairy tales is “what exactly is happily ever after?”. You don’t really ever see that addressed. And if no one ever goes into detail about it, then how do you know it is even happy or ever after.
Enter Ron Vitale and his Cinderella’s Secret Diary series. In this book, you learn (through Cinderella’s private journal) what exactly “happily ever after” looks like. Turns out that its not so happy after all. What I love about how Vitale approached this is that the characters are indeed human. They aren’t perfect and have a bit of tarnish on them (sometimes though a bit too much).
In this tale, Cinderella pours her heart out to her much missed fairy godmother through her journal practically begging for another miracle. This added a level of realism to the story because we humans are greedy creatures. I know that many people would say “Oh she already got one miracle. She should be happy with that.” But the truth is that we are never truly happy. We always want more. Especially when things don’t turn out quite as we think they should as they obviously have for this Cinderella.
The reader is given the very real character of a woman who was never prepared for life outside of her family much less the responsibilities that come with being royalty. She soon finds out that there is more to being a princess/future queen than balls and parties. Her plight is very reminiscent to that of Anne Boleyn (though with none of the rumor or slander), perhaps the most famous woman to fall in hot water for not being able to bear a (male) child.
As I was reading this, I was making notes (as I always do) of possible continuity errors/problems. I am happy to say that Vitale definitely ties it all together in the end. It is a quick read at 187 or so pages and I found it a great literary pallet cleanser. It was something light, sweet, quick, and clean. It gave my brain a much need rest and boost before delving into deeper selections.
Though it was not without its flaws, the Bookworm gives it 4 out of 5 stars!
Visit the author’s page at http://www.ronvitale.com or grab Cinderella’s Secret Diary from the Bookworm’s Amazon Store. If you liked the review, check out our previous reviews of Kainan, The Northern Star and Dragon Fate. Follow us on twitter @ErinEymard and Google+.