Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister: A Novel

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Harper Collins, Oct 3, 2000 - Fiction - 384 pages
132 Reviews

Is this new land a place where magics really happen?

From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second novel, a brilliant and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella tale.

In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats....

We all have heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty . . . and what curses accompanied Cinderella's exquisite looks?

Extreme beauty is an affliction

Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.

Clara was the prettiest child, but was her life the prettiest tale?

While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, burning all memories of her past, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household--and the treacherous truth of her former life.

God and Satan snarling at each other like dogs.... Imps and fairy godmotbers trying to undo each other's work. How we try to pin the world between opposite extremes!

Far more than a mere fairy-tale, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed--and love unveiled--in the most unexpected of places.

  

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Didnt finish it - writing was too fussy for me. - LibraryThing
His portrayal of Cinderella is absolutely wonderful! - LibraryThing
The writing is at once entertaining and deep. - LibraryThing

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User Review  - tloeffler - LibraryThing

Gregory Maguire has taken the Cinderella story and set it in the 17th century Netherlands. An English widow, Margarethe and her two daughters settle in Haarlem, where she takes a position as housemaid ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

Maguire likes to shake things up. We all know the story of Cinderella: ugly and horrid stepsisters, raging and sinister stepmother, glass slipper, dashing prince, yada, yada, yada. Maguire unhinges ... Read full review

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Contents

II
III
9
IV
15
V
25
VI
30
VII
42
IX
51
X
61
XI
76
XIII
95
XIV
102
XV
106
XVII
114
XVIII
20
XIX
26
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Gregory Maguire's bestselling novels include Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and the first three books of the Wicked Years: Wicked, the basis for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men. Maguire lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

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