Author Gail Gauthier's Reflections On Books, Writing, Humor, And Other Sometimes Random Things
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The Spirit of God Comes To Cinderella
Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley is another spin on Cinderella, this one with a Christian twist. God is a fact of life for many of the characters, and Heaven is a comforting place for one of the stepsisters, who has lost her own father. We also have a pilgrimage and a little of the Joan of Arc story thrown in for good measure. And, yes, the spirit of God truly does come to this Cinderella.
I found this incredibly intriguing. What also intrigues me is that I don't see much reference to this book's Christian, perhaps medieval Catholic, imagery in other reviews. Am I reading too much into Bella at Midnight because of all my years teaching Sunday school? I think there is a parent population interested in spirituality and bringing religion into their children's daily lives who would like to take a look at this book, if they knew what was in it.
On the negative side (and I usually do have a negative side, don't I?), the interesting aspects of this book don't turn up until well after the mid-point. The story is also told in the first person by many of the characters, who all take a turn in different chapters. This, too, is intriguing. Unfortunately, most of the voices are very similar. The most distinctive belong to the two stepsisters.
Reading Bella at Midnight is a very up-and-down experience. But it's definitely an interesting addition to revisionist Cinderella tales.
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