Retelling Book Review

Title: Before Midnight a Retelling of "Cinderella"
Author: Cameron Dokey
Genre: YA fiction
Pages: Paperback, 193
Published: 2007
First Lines: "What do you know about yourself? What are your stories? The ones you tell yourself, and the ones told by others."

"Etienne de Brabant is brokenhearted. His wife has died in childbirth, leaving him alone with an infant daughter he cannot bear to name. But before he abandons her for king and court, he brings a second child to be raised alongside her, a boy whose identity he does no reveal.

"The girl, La Cendrillon, and the boy, Raoul, pass sixteen years in the servants' care until one day a very fine lady arrives with her two daughters. The lady has married La Cendrillon's father, and her arrival changes their lives.

"When an invitation to a great ball reaches the family, La Cendrillon's new stepmother will make a decision with far-reaching effects. Her choice will lead La Cendrillon and Raoul toward their destiny -- a choice that will challenge their understanding of family, test their loyalty and courage, and, ultimately, teach them who they are."
-Jacket copy



Thoughts: I got this book from my sister-in-law as a Christmas gift a few years back. While searching for clothes to put in the wash, I ended up uncovering this little treasure. I love retellings! In fact, this make me want to go back and read Robin McKinley's books!

While reading this, I was reminded of Ever After. By no means is it the same story, but they share some common elements. For example, Cenderillon's relationship with Raoul is similar to her relationship with the stable boy in the movie. When her shoe is returned by the prince, it is strikingly similar to the scene at the end of the film. This did not detract from the book. Being a retelling, it will have similarities, and Dokey made the story her own.

It was a new and refreshing version of Cinderella. I liked how Dokey chose to portray the stepmother and her daughters. It was definitely a new twist! This book was a delight to read, it went very fast, and it left you satisfied. My only problem was that the conflict was too short and too neat. I wished there was more intrigue at the end. The author mentioned that there was a whole political battle taking place amongst the royal family. I would have liked to see that played out a little more. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book. I'm looking forward to reading the others in the Once Upon a Time series.

Rating: 5/5
Currently: Ravena & the Resurrected
Pages: 1557
Current Progress:
4/50 books


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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.