I finished my last book while I was on vacation and didn’t have anything else on deck so a skimmed through the offerings on Kindle Prime and stumbled across this fun little book. It was a great vacation read.
It is about Ella Hannaford, a very serious young women who is an eco-architect. Her mom died when she was young and now her very loving, but hard drinking, dad is getting remarried to a woman who is very… passionate about how she wants things to be and is expecting Ella to be onboard. Ella is doing her best to take everything in stride until one day when six dwarves pop up in her office (and they are far crasser and more irritating that their Disney kin) warning her that her Evil Stepmother is going to kill her. That is just the first weird thing that happens that day.
Ella is being pulled into the land of Fairy Tales, complete with a Big Bad Wolf, Fairy Godmother, and the full “Glass Coffin Gambit,” whether she wants to be or not. Memories of her Granny telling her to never, ever speak to fairies leads her back to her roots for help and the adventure careens on from there.
This really is a fun little romp. It is a little draggy in the last third or so. There are SO many characters and storybook setups that it gets to feel a little “everything and the kitchen sink” at one point. Even with that, though, it is fast paced and light enough that this didn’t drag the overall fun of the book down. I especially loved the antics of Ella’s future “ugly stepsister” Petunia and her best friend.
I was a little confused by the Stepmother character. I couldn’t tell how to really read her. She is a raging bitch throughout most of the book, but Ella overall seems to like her well enough and Ella and her father’s behaviour towards her suggests that while she always has a big personality she isn’t usually as mean as we see her. We don’t see anything resembling this decent person until the very end of the book, though, so it was almost too little too late for her in a way. It’s hard to tell if this is on purpose or more an accident of trying to fit the “fairy tale” concept and taking it a little too far on the one character.
It isn’t super long, so if you need a nice, light palate cleanser kind of book or, like me, find yourself bookless on a trip or something I definitely recommend this guy.