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By Gregory Maguire
“[An] engrossing story...endearing and memorable.”
“[An] arresting hybrid of poser, fairy story, and historic novel.”
—Detroit loose Press
“A story so movingly informed that you'll say on the finish of the 1st examining, ‘It’s been decades on account that I’ve learn a ebook this good.’”
Gregory Maguire proves himself to be “one of up to date fiction’s such a lot guaranteed myth-makers” (Kirkus Reviews) with Confessions of an unpleasant Stepsister, his inventive and provocative retelling of the undying Cinderella fairy story. might be top recognized for his darkish and breathtaking oz. sequence The depraved Years—including the unconventional Wicked, which encouraged the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical—Maguire is a grasp at upending the normal to assist us see the normal in an excellent new light.
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Extra resources for Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Five THE BALL The Medici Ball the good night arrives eventually. the ladies on the door of the home, stuck in a sweep of updraft that makes an ethereal rustle of silks. Ruth is panting with panic even ahead of she has settled herself within the carriage, and she or he retains ducking her face into her arms and sniffling. “Courage, and if now not braveness, then sturdy manners, Ruth! ” says Iris sharply. yet she doesn’t be aware of the manners for driving in a carriage herself, not to mention the instructions. She’s happy that the driving force has already made a number of tours to the opulent property of the Pruyn kin, the place the ball is ready to be less than manner. The wind that moves final autumn’s leaves out of gutters and hedges is a hot one. the celebs shimmer of their fastenings, and a moon releases a bruising pinkness upon the realm. the homes appear to draw clear of the carriage because it passes, as though huddling in the back of their shuttered home windows. The streets of Haarlem are interestingly empty. voters both were invited to the ball and are on their manner, or they haven’t and so are protecting as regards to domestic out of unhappiness or maybe disgrace. Iris friends from backstage. Now, how does Margarethe intend to pay for this carriage, those outfits? She’s mortgaging their destiny, having a bet as outrageously as she had goaded Cornelius van den Meer to wager, in simple terms now on a distinct commodity. Iris slumps opposed to the backboard. Margarethe is mad to imagine that Iris may wish to draw the eye of a vacationing French prince. is that this the maneuver of somebody who’s been pushed to the abyss by way of fear? Or are there but deeper currents of technique at paintings in Margarethe? At any expense, a ball is whatever Iris can learn, coolly, with out worry of being spotted or wish of accomplishing boost. Iris unearths that she notices the best way issues glance outside—the rooflines, the twitching limbs of trees—rather than noticing herself and her sister within this carriage, in this night of all unusual evenings. She lectures herself to wait. How do you notice that woman referred to as Ruth, how do you spot the lady referred to as Iris? examine them as though you're to attract those younger women. now not what you recognize of them, the way you imagine they cross, yet how do they seem? Caspar has taught her the lesson of the grasp: Don’t technique anything to attract as though you recognize what it's; process it as though you’ve by no means skilled it ahead of. recognize it suddenly. Startle it into liveliness. Iris glances at Ruth after which, fast, glances away. What has she visible? a fantastic face with a knotted expression. No, don’t presume that it’s an expression of stupidity. What if it’s a glance of earnest attempt? The forehead furrows. If her nostril is a bit susceptible, her jaw is robust. the fervour within the eyes that also gleams with the final of her anxious tears is still ardour. one of the stolid Dutch ardour is usually placed right down to an excessive amount of ale. yet there are the few who imagine it an important aspect in a person’s humors. Ruth’s dermis is gentle, as though it’s stretched to ability to hide the world that her huge bones require.