All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother

Danielle Teller
In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s "evil" stepmother.We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.Lyrically told, emotionally evocative, and brilliantly perceptive, All the Ever Afters explores the hidden complexities that lie beneath classic tales of good and evil, all the while showing us that how we confront adversity reveals a more profound, and ultimately more important, truth than the ideal of "happily ever after."

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-03-07

This book is very sweet and wonderfully written. Half the time I forgot that I was reading the story of Cinderella's stepmother, but rather the story of a woman with self resilience. 

I truly loved her story, from start to finish it is charming and entertaining, but doesn't shy away from the hard work she had to do to get to where she ended up.

 

Even though it isn't the same Cinderella story we all know and love, it was highly enjoyable and I would read it again. 

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