"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon

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Summary: Cinderella’s Fairy godmother seeks a chance to redo a mistake she made 300 years ago.

That sweet old lady who smiles at you as you rush by is not someone’s doting grandmother, or an active senior, but a banished fairy, forced out of Fairyland because she did the unthinkable – she fell in love with a human.

To make matters worse, Lil fell in love with Cinderella’s prince instead. No, no, no, you can’t change the story, so of course Lil is exiled.

Fairy Godmother Lil was supposed to change Cinderella’s life forever when she transformed the abused maid into a vision of loveliness, but Lil had been dreaming of the prince too, and when Cinderella got cold feet (glass slippers, remember?), Lil went in her place. And Lil has been suffering alone ever since.

We meet Lil when she’s reached her lowest point, barely eating enough to stay alive and working in a used bookstore. Then Veronica walks in. Veronica is a flamboyant hair stylist (but not flamboyant in the the NYC way you're thinking) and Lil thinks she would be a perfect match for her boss George. Lil is supposed to help people find true love, and sets out to make a match between her George and Veronica. Maybe she can redeem herself that way.

This book dragged on in spots, constantly emphasizing Lil’s loneliness and exile. Every other chapter takes place in Lil’s modern life, while opposing chapters explore Lil’s early life in fairyland and how she came to fall in love with the prince. This book was about 20% too long.

Lil was so welcomed by humans that I just kept wanting to say, “Take some Prozac and move on.” That’s a dreadful thing to say to someone (even a fairy) with depression, but I kept reading in the hopes that Lil would finally make a perfect match and get to go home to her sister and fairy friends.

She sets them up, helps them pick out clothes, and the very last chapter of the book deals with the morning after the modern ball.

The surprise ending redeemed this book, although I did feel that this should have been more of a Young Adult novel, instead of adult fantasy fiction. 

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