Title: Godmother (The Secret Cinderella Story)
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Don’t let the whimsical cover and title fool you. This book is a book about introspection, regrets, fessing up to your mistakes and learning from them. It’s about learning to accept yourself and where you are in life, no matter how bleak life might be. It is a fairy tale story for adults that pulled me steadily along for an entire evening until I had the book finished, and I sat, unsatisfied, thinking about mortality and the mind and my own dreams and fantasies.
The book is about Lil, an old fairy who is cursed to live a human life, her only solace being her job at a small bookshop and a small rare tome there about fairytales, with an inscription on the inside that says “All my loves will be returned to me.” As she struggles with hiding her true self and spending an eternity away from her fairy friends, she dreams often of the previous life she had with her fairy friends, before she was chosen to be Cinderella’s godmother and messed everything up. Before she fell in love with the Prince and it all fell apart.
Generations later and she feels she has the chance to make up for her mistake. The young gentleman who owns the bookshop and lives in the apartment above is starting to feel like he’ll never meet the right girl when a beautiful young woman bounces into the shop to sell Lil some used books - including a small book with old photographs of some young girls and their fairy friends, written off as a hoax, but Lil recognizes her fairy friends and her hope is renewed. The woman strongly reminds Lil of her younger sister, and her newfound strength allows her to see that the quiet book-keeper and the exuberant hairdresser are meant for each other.
The furthest thing from a romantic Disney story, this book is sometimes about true love but it is mostly about human nature and self-forgiveness. If you’ve only ever read books from a young person’s point of view, you are missing out. And if you like dark or twisted fairy tales and haven’t read this book, you are also missing out.
And if you only read love stories, you are the one who is missing out the most.