All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother
As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, a woman who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. But what unfolds is not the princess's history. The tale Agnes recounts is her own.
A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separat ...more
“We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?”
I’ve never been big of fairy tales, but the description of this novel had me intrigued. “All the Ever Afters” is the story of Princess Cinderella told from the point of view of her stepmother, Agnes.
Agnes has heard all of the rumors….how cruel she apparently was to Elfilda (Ella), that Ella’s step-sisters vied for Prince Henry’s attention, and so much more.
I've never been one for the Cinderella story. It just never felt absolutely right. So, she becomes the future queen, what's she gonna do next?
This is rehashing the original, in a very expectedly unexpected way. Here goes the purr-fect illustration of the principle: no matter how you raise your kids (step- or otherwise), they will always have what to discuss with their psychoanalyst (or their cour ...more
Beautiful inside and out; All the Ever Afters is a sorrowful tale woven from lyrical prose, words as lovely and lush as the book's alluring cover. Cinderella's "evil" stepmother, Agnes, tells her side of the story, in which she's born a peasant and must claw her way to a better life. The little cinder girl arrives late in the story, a mere trifle compared to the hardship and heartbreak Agnes endures.
Agnes was born a peasant and while her family found a husband for her sister Agnes was turned over to work as a servant at the age of ten. S ...more
See my mediocre book pics here
“Everyone knows the story about Prince Henry’s hunt for the beautiful girl he met at the ball, how he searched from house to house, asking every unmarried woman in five parishes to try on the glass slippers. That is a pretty tale. As usual, the truth is more mundane.”
Is there anyone out there who wouldn’t want to be like this rather than one of those mealy-mouthed princesses?????
Or even l ...more
Usually with fairy tale retellings told from the villains POV, the premise is to explain how the villain came to be. That was not the case for this one. This is a more realistic take on the myth of Cinderella, and in stead of explaining the Stepmother's wickedness, it seeks to show that she wasn't even all that wicked after all. Very intriguing and very captivating.
"Compelling fiction often obscures the humble truth."
👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍
"Being strong does not disqualify you from being beautiful."
Wow this book is amazing!
For a debut, this is absolutely astounding! This is one of the most well written books I have ever read! As an example, here's a bunch of quotes I particularly loved:
"Compelling fiction often obscures the humble truth."
I wonder sometimes if the thoughts...more
I’ve never been able to say no to a good fairy tale retelling. They are my absolute weakness, and I’ve been especially tempted as of late by the recent crop of novels touting the point-of-view of the “villain”. It ultimately led me to pick up All the Ever Afters, which boldly bears the tagline describing itself as the untold story of Cinderella’s stepmother, the notoriously cruel and wicked antagonist from the classic fair ...more
When I reached the end and closed this book, I felt fulfilled, and at so many levels. The language captured me first. What a complete command of expressions! A pleasure to watch its secure stroke, its expert unfolding; a painting that becomes sculpture and walks you all around an image, a scene, a character, a plot. An exquisite mastery of the written word that reminds of Umberto Eco. I even found a few words I had to look up, yet so expertly placed in the context that, from the way they fitted, ...more
A really impressive historically-grounded novel that really surprised me with how much I enjoyed it; I loved the presentation of gender and social roles. I also love Agnes, my clever Slytherin child.
Agnes is Ella’s stepmother. She endures a hard childhood being separated from her family, but manages to secure herself a decent life with some form of independence through her hard work and intelligence. I can respect the character of Agnes - she is very honest when reflecting upon her life but the narration was just so full.
Ella annoyed the hell out of me in this book. She was just a whiny spoiled ...more
A soulful, gut-wrenching, dark and disturbing retelling of Cinderella. It reminded me of Fairest by Marissa Meyer, another step-mother origin story. Like Fairest it was morbid and oft times sickening but I was entranced and couldn’t stop. Unlike Fairest, it was more real, mature and grounded and thus hit much harder due to the absence of fantasy or sci-fi elements.
The book proceeds with agonizing slowness, painstakingly describing each and every detail of the stepmother, Agnes’s life. The Cinder ...more
All the Ever Afters is a thoughtful reimagining of the characters from Cinderella as real people in a real medieval setting. The plot has a nested structure, with the familiar details of the fairy tale embedded in the longer rags-to-riches arc of the stepmother's narrative. The book can be enjoyed on many levels; even the insightful stepmother is not always fully aware of the layers of psychological complexity that underlie her words.
That's my public ...more
When I saw the synopsis for this one, I was immediately drawn in. Heartless by Marissa Meyer went to my mind, and I was expecting a whimsical tale about why Cinderella's stepmother was evil. What I got was a more realistic story about Agnes and her upbringing, and a twist on Cinderella's character.
This one read like a historical ficti ...more
This wasn't the book for me. The only reason I'm giving it 3 stars is because of the quality of the writing. The story itself bored me to death. I wanted to read this because I love fairy tale retellings. The story of Cinderella's stepmother seemed interesting. I thought I would see her in a different light and understand why she became the evil stepmother. Somehow her story never made me sympathetic to her plight. A fair amount of the bad things that happened to her were the result of ...more
The main problem with this one is that there wasn't any point to it? In most books there is a point and something the main character wants to achieve, but in this one there was nothing. It was just the background of Cinderella's step mother, but nothing that this child goes through relates to the step mother? It could be any random child. BUT I see why some people would like this, but it's just not for me.
I'm being strict with my reading this year, one of the rules I've ma ...more
I don't think this a bad book at all, but it's everything I personally don't like in fantasy.
- kingdom and court politics
- formal language
- marriage plots
- infodumping of world / character backstory
Not for me, unfortunately, but I wouldn't deter any fantasy fans.
Yes, there is sickness, poverty of material and experience, often ignorant or narrow minded characters, and some sex or marriage ploys of those medieval times. But overall it is rather triumphant. It's the fairy tale told in a non-fairy tale way. And I loved it.
Two reasons come to mind that made it outstanding in the present ...more
Rating 3.5 stars
There are always two sides to every story and “All The Ever Afters” wants you to hear Cinderella’s evil stepmother’s perspective. Was she always evil? If not, what could have made her that way? Time to hear the tale that leads from Agnes Vil-de-Loup’s early life until her happily ever after.
We are first introduced to young Agnes at the age of nine when she is sent off to work i ...more
1. The cover. I admit I judge by a cover far too frequently, but this one is particularly gorgeous.
It was told from the evil stepmother’s point of view. Although we have books that retell a tale from a different point of view, I was intrigued by it being told by the heavily maligned evil stepmother.
Now that I have finished All the Ever Afters I am pleased that I picked it up. It told the Cinderell ...more
2018; William Morrow/HarperCollins Canada
(Review Not on Blog)
Retellings are always a hit or miss for me. I really enjoyed the film version of Ever After (about Cinderella) so I was excited to read this retelling of the stepmother's story. You always wonder about the villains and how they came to be so cruel. Or, is that just the Psychology major in me? Lol. I don't know if it is the timing or mood, but I just could not get into this story. It was well-written but I just couldn't ...more
I just love a good fairytale retelling and this book is just that! This is a unique take on the story of Cinderella and her “evil” stepmother. And I’ll tell you why: this is not a fantasy retelling, but reads more like historical fiction and is written from the perspective of the stepmother, Agnes. This is such a complex, creative, and brilliant book!
We follo ...more
I have recently enjoyed the influx of fairy-tale retellings and the tales that are told from a different point of view. I loved the movie that came out a few years ago, Maleficient, and of course one of my all time favorites in this vein was the musical, Wicked. From these stories we learn that evil is not born but made, and truthfully is decided by the story-teller. Tales are exaggerated and told to paint the stor ...more
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Danielle attended Queen’s University du ...more