This morning I woke up and yet again had to be reminded that a post is due. It was particularly difficult because I was finishing one of those books that makes you snarl at anyone who interrupts the experience. But the reading gave me my next post.
First let me highly recommend Olivia Atwater. It is because of her books, Half a Soul and Ten Thousand Stitches, that I was again able to enjoy reading a book in one sitting. Her take on faerie tales is engaging and such a balm when escape is dearly needed. Nevertheless, I wasn’t just struck by her books, I was struck by her Afterword, something more readers (and writers) should pay attention to.
“The faerie godmother, I decided, was really the most admirable character in the whole story. She was the one, after all, who saw an injustice and tried to fix it.”—Olivia Atwater
I thought her assertion, that Cinderella’s story was really about a nobly born woman being returned to her rightful place was such a revelation that I’m almost embarrassed that it never occurred to me. On more than one occasion in fairy tales, the protagonist is a princess down on her luck and is then swept off to become a princess once more. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are the ones that come to mind. Of course, Rapunzel and Belle from Beauty and the Beast have different stories, but in those the prince was cursed and therefore “understood” being powerless.
In the future I hope to use some of my posts to focus on modern fairy tale writers and their takes on what it means to rewrite time honored stories. In the meantime, check out https://oliviaatwater.com