Confessions of an Ugly StepsisterGregory Maguire
"An arresting hybrid of mystery, fairy tale, and historical novel... Confessions of an ugly stepsister isn't easy to classify or forget." – Detroit Free Press
We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignomity by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty... and what curses accompanied Cinderella's looks?
Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an ugly stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household – and the treacherous truth of her former life.
Far more than a mere fairytale, Confessions of an ugly stepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed – and love unvailed – in the most unexpected of places.
" A tale so movingly told that you will say at the end of the first reading, 'It's been a long time I've read a book this good.'... Few writers match Gregory Maguire." – Nashville Tennesean
"[A] brilliantly plotted fantasy... Maguire is rapidly becoming one of contemporary fiction's most assured myth-makers." – Kirkus Reviews (starred)
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Gregory Maguire was born 1954 in Albany, New York. He received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University. His work as a consultant in creative writing for children has taken him to speaking engagements across the United States and abroad. He is a founder and codirector of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987. The author of numerous books for children, Mr. Maguire is also a contributor to Am I Blue?: Coming Out From the Silence, a collection of short stories for gay and lesbian teenagers.