The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria at Montefiore, the farm of her beloved father, Don Vicente. There she spends her days cosseted by Primavera Vecchia, the earthy cook,...more
I said I would because I'm not sure anything Maguire does will compare with the freshness, the intrigue and the delight I found in Wicked. Or the quiet painterly tension in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, which I liked almost as much.
The gimmick, of course, is getting old. In Mirror, he takes Snow White into the viper's nest of the Borgia family in 1...more
H World Lit
5 May 2008
New York: Harper Collins, 2004
280 pp. $16.00
The novel “Mirror Mirror” was an immense letdown after reading “Wicked” and “Son of a Witch.” Gregory Maguire is noted for recreating or retelling previously created tales of fantasy. “Mirror Mirror” is the reinvented story of Snow White. Placed in the fantasy tale are Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia, the famous children of Pope. They plan the demise of Bianca De Nevada,...more
I appreciated the position Gregory took in this re-telling of Snow White. I found the inclusion of an actual historical family (the Borgias) intriguing, although I'm not going to research them. I absolutely adored his description of the "dwarves" and I think that's where...more
I rarely ever put a book down before I have finished it, no matter how bad it is... but I not only put this book down, I gave it away. The cafe I was reading it at had a collection bin of books to send to the needy in Africa. After forcing myself to read it for several days, I walked right over and tossed it in. Sorry to whoever receives the book, perhaps it will be better than reading nothing, though I doubt it.
Overall the book...more
Part of the problem was in the fact that I did make this a read aloud. McGuire interspersed his text with a lot of Italian words and when you add that to his sometimes eclectic vocabulary, I was tripping over sentences left and right. Stumbling over the pronunciation of half of the words was surely not h...more
"What child does not feel itself perched at the center of creation?... Small children know the truth that their own existense has caused the world to bloom into being."
"Speaking uses us up, speeds us up. Without prayer, that act of confession for merely existing, one might live forever and not know it."
"Faith is a floor. If you don't work at making it for yourself, you have nothing to walk on."
"Silence can be tactical. Even God us...more
The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria at Montefiore, the farm of her beloved father, Don Vicente. But one day a noble entourage makes its way up the winding slopes to the farm -- and the world comes to Montefiore.
In the presence of Cesare Borgia and his sister, the lovely and vain Lucrezia -- decadent children of a wicked pope -- no one can claim innocence for very long. When Borgia sends Don Vicente on...more
I read this novel years ago, was totally in love, and recently I started listening to it again (and had to finish it in text form when my playaway audiobook died). Still in love. So far, it's my favorite of Gregory Maguire's work (...more
With the recent re-release of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, now was a great time to read Mcguires' take on the Grimm Brothers tale. Mirror Mirror reflects the well known story through the eyes of all characters. Set in Italy in the 1500's, the novel includes historical figures along with the fictional. Machiavelli, De Medici and De Borgia are among the more well known names used through out.
As we all know, the story revolves around a young girl with pa...more
However, it took me a long time to get into this book...more
I confess. I've read most of Maguire's works and I am a true fan. He writes somewhat to a formula in these Fairy Tale revisions, but the formula itself is not enough to carry the day. Maguire is a truly talented writer whose abilities are what makes it work.
Compared to his other works I was disappointed, but only slightly. Wicked, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister are truly brilliant and effective pieces of work which set off Maguire's social commentary to great effect...more
1) Snow White, arguably one of the most unfortunate fairy tale ladies and just as arguably one of the most metaphorically grim Grimm stories (sexual awakening? blood red lips, red hair, snow white skin? duel with older, scary witchy woman? encased in glass? bites of poisoned apples? shacking up with a band of creepy dwarves? (okay that one gets a little harder to interpret))
2) Renaissance Italy
Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia, the children of a wicked pope, survive or more likely embrace rumors of incest, poisonings, adultery, conspiracy and murder. Cesare sends Don Vincente on a quest to fi...more
I had no business reading this book with so many other books ahead of it on the list! But I inherited this milk crate of books that I have been driving around with in the trunk of my car for a week or two, and because the top row was a lot of mystery novels, including a bunch of books in a series of Dutch crime novels (*shudder*), I didn’t really dig through it with much interest. But then there I was on Saturday at some kid’s birthday party in the park, and I was packing up...more
I really wanted to like it. Instead, I kept reading because I was sure it was going to get good at some point. The premise sounded interesting, but the plot was convoluted, annoying, and historically meh. There was so much Maguire could have done with this that he passed over, such as the established moral ambiguity of his "dwarfs," which were closer to rock spirits than actual dwarfs.
They started out as interest...more
In the last month I've read Mirror, Mirror and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Mirror, Mirror didn't interest me as much. I loved the historical setting but didn't love the weird dwarves part. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister I liked a lot more, I think largely because everything is simply placed into a historical context and the...more
Thankfully, my friends at the Mesa Library had an audio copy that I was able to download and listen to. Not sure I would have gotten through this without it. And the audio helped for all of those hard to pronounce Italian and Spanish names that are peppered throughout. This was definite...more