The Charmed Wife
One night, she sneaks out of the palace to get help from the Witch who, for a price, offers love potions to disgruntled housewives. But as the old hag flings t ...more
This is a clever story as subversive as any of the original fairytales but Disney sanitised fluff (not that I don’t enjoy that!) this most certainly is not. It’s extremely well written, the style and descriptions are lively, colourful and engaging. It’s funny in places with plenty of modern day references that really stand out. T ...more
This book is not actually a genre fantasy novel.
AND THE LONG:
The Charmed Wife is my fourth novel, and I took some risks with it - it is a subversive mix of fantasy and reality that falls between genres and breaks many narrative rules. When I wrote it, I thought of it as an exploration of contemporary women's issues - romantic expectations, marriage, motherhood, identity, work, age - as viewed through the lens of fairy-tale metaphors, of the stories we tell ourselves and our chi ...more
Some of the themes are similar to those in the author’s Forty Rooms, though they’re treated differently. The themes are dark, but there’s also lots o ...more
Olga Grushin’s debut novel Dream Life of Sukhanov was a delightful surprise and one of my favourite books of 2006, and her next novel in 2010, the wonderful The Concert Ticket (also set in the Soviet Union) was an excellent follow-up. I see I have rated both books 4* ...more
OK there was a lot I liked about this book, b ...more
But wait! What if Prince Charming turned out to be not quite so…charming? What if Cinderella got “woke” years later to find that she had traded in her own dreams to live a sterile life with an unhappy man who ignored and at times despised her? In other words – what if Cinderella became trapped ...more
What happens in a fairy tale that ends with, “And they lived happily ever after?” That’s more of a prognostication than a destiny. In THE CHARMED WIFE, a princess is not living happily ever after, and against ...more
What a beautiful thrashing Grushin gives the Cinderella story. Kudos.
What happens after the 'happily ever after' something happens for sure unless we want to become bored and find mischief elsewhere.
Grushin bases this story on Cinderella's fairytale but then makes it a point to visit as many European fairytales as possible and paints them with her revisionist take. Considering that a lot of these tales push forward th ...more
After 13 and a half years of marriage to the Prince and two children later Cinderella is had enough of the marriage. The Prince and herself live separate lives and live-in different side of the castle. He never sees his children and they do not talk to each other. She wants more to her life. She wants the prince dead but when she meets a witch but, thing don’t always g ...more
Cinderella’s married life in the palace seems like an endless loop of idle eating and dancing, her husband's never present or invariably distant, her children her only joy she may soon lose.
The tone of the book is an odd, in all the positive ways, combination of fairy tale and a realistic narrative voice of an unhappily married woman, fuelled by her misery and the newfound decisiveness to end it.
It is both sad and refreshing to witness the well-known version of ...more
All I want is to be free - free of him, free of my past, free of my story.
Free of myself, the way I was when I was with him.
This book slid off in a completely different direction to what I was expecting, and I loved it anyway (maybe even more?). I went in thinking it would be a subversive fairytale retelling - I got that and a lot more.
There are so many layers to this book. Stories within stories within stories. The central character is 'Cinderella', but we also have minor threads that her o...more
13 and a half years after their happily ever after Cinderella is looking to a witch for help, her marriage isn’t all that happy after all, but instead of a love potion she’s looking to have Prince Roland killed.
This is not what I expected it to be but it was so much more! This is a fairytale for grown ups, make no mistake. There’s a million other fairytales spok ...more
I know I almost never read fantasy books, but something about this one being a story about what happens after the fairy tale of Cinderella ends drew me in. I liked it a whole lot more than I thought I would, to be honest. Here's my review https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2021/01/2... ...more
The story is a re-telling and continuation of the Cinderella story, but it goes much farther than that, wandering through the world and worlds this fairy tale lives in. It is very tw ...more
Upon first seeing the synopsis for this book, I was super intrigued. I'm a big fan of a fairytale retelling, and had never read a Cinderella one before. Then I see that it's an adult, dark retelling following Cinderella as she decides she wants to kill her husband, and I was IN. I love dark storylines, and this sounded so promising.
I feel so let down after reading it. The writing is something th ...more
After over thirteen years of a mostly unhappy marriage, a woman seeks to murder her husband in this shrewd Me-Too era abstraction of the traditional Cinderella fairy tale. Readers who appreciate domestic realism with fantastical elements, a flawed female lead, and compelling introspective and confessional prose should give this book a look. Fans of The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter looking for an intricate and experimental tale in which the ...more
It is very rare that a book leaves me feeling so unsure. The Charmed Wife is definitely different but I am not sure if it is a feminist masterpiece or a quirky hot mess. Maybe as the days pass my mind will lean firmly one way or another or maybe it will find a place somewhere in the middle for now though I am quite uncertain.
13 years after Cinderella married Prince Charming things are not all she hoped they would be. Her husba ...more
𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝 ... 𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐛𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐬 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐞𝐲𝐞𝐬, 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐭 - 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐞𝐲𝐞𝐬, 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝, 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐞.
The Charmed Wife is a retelling of the fairytale Cinderella, but with a twist. It isn't simply a different story with the same characters, but is ...more
This was not for me. While I like the concept for it, I'm not enjoying the writing style. The lack of linearity/chronology throws me off and confuses me every time, as does the constant change between using 'I' and 'she' for our main character. I had absolutely no interest in the bracketed and italicised story of the mice, which was jarring and pulled me out of the story whenever it popped up.
Thank you to Olga Grushin, Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for provi ...more
As clever as the princess's story is, I also found myself fascinated by the miniature dramas of her pet mice. Late in the book, I learned this was very much the plan, as the subplot was pronounced, the "multi-generat ...more
We all know the stories and some of us have based our life on living that ‘happily ever after’. Granted were not all princesses but we all hope to find that one person we can sail off into the sunset with and who loves us unconditionally, but have you ever wondered what happens to the princess after? Well sit back and let Olga Grushin take you on a dark and twisted tale of her own.
I definitely did not exp ...more
There’s always been a part of me that wondered what happened after the ‘happily ever after’ but equally a part of that carries the long time romance of everything remaining happy and perfect.
Olga Grushin challenges everything we’ve ever read regarding fairytales with this book.
After thirteen and a half years of marriage, Cinderella is looking to end her marriage ... with the death of her husband. What follows is a story of an unhappy ...more
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