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The Charmed Wife

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  848 ratings  ·  276 reviews
A sophisticated literary fairy tale for the twenty-first century, in which Cinderella, thirteen years after her marriage, is on the brink of leaving her supposedly perfect life behind.

Cinderella married the man of her dreams--the perfect ending she deserved after diligently following all the fairy-tale rules. Yet now, two children and thirteen and a half years later, thing
Kindle Edition
Published January 12th 2021
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Olga Thank you for your interest in The Charmed Wife. It is not meant for children, and I do not believe it qualifies as a YA fare either. If this helps: m…moreThank you for your interest in The Charmed Wife. It is not meant for children, and I do not believe it qualifies as a YA fare either. If this helps: my own daughter, who is 12, is a very mature reader for her age, but I am not letting her read the book for a few more years.(less)
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Average rating 3.23  · 
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Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fairytale of Cinderella but not as you know it, she’s been married to Prince Roland for thirteen and a half years and happily ever after?? Maybe, maybe not.

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
Jan 13, 2021 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

This book is a riff on fairy tales, but it is not actually a genre fantasy novel, nor a romance novel, nor "chick lit." It is not likely to appeal to those who prefer linear narratives with "relatable" protagonists and predictable happy endings. Such readers will be better served by conventional fairy-tale retellings - and there are dozens of them out there. This is not one of them. On the other hand, if you like unconventional genre-bending narratives, feel no need to "identify
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book is not what you think it is. To tell you more would give away its surprises. Careful readers will wonder at what’s coming when they get to certain aspects. I’d love to say what these are, but the sense of uncertainty I felt while reading is key to what I liked so much. I found it enthralling, especially in how the story is moved forward.

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
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the oddest yet most compelling books I’ve read this year. The Charmed Wife is a Cinderella retelling but it’s no HEA, instead, it reads like Cinderella is tripping balls down Alice’s rabbit hole. Thirteen and a half years go by for Cinderella after she’s married Prince Charming, thirteen and a half long years of some seriously messed up shit. She’s at a crossroads between a moral choice that will change her life when the story begins. It’s through past events and reflection that C ...more
Paul Fulcher
Love makes everyone blind, as simpering court storytellers are forever fond of intoning, quite as if blindness were a happy circumstance in which we all long to share. Storytellers are dangerous fools, and my eyes are wide open now.

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*
I am not the right audience for this book. The long interludes about the talking mice Brie and Nibbles were unbearable, and the parts about the naive and whiny Cinderella were only slightly better. I was hoping for a sharp, clever story about what “happily ever after” really means, but this book is more of a jumbled mess about a woman who insists on being the victim in her own story and who has read too many fairy tales. In case you care about such things, characters are shamed for their weight, ...more
What happens after the happily ever after? This is the story of Cinderella after she finds out that prince charming is basically a complete fraud. A cad in prince’s clothing. The story picks up 13 years after Cinderella and Prince charming say I do. Cinderella is now the mother of two and rarely sees her prince. this leads Cinderella to seek the help of an evil witch and sends this fairytale spiraling. A dark and modern twist with a splash of humor.

OK there was a lot I liked about this book, b
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fairy tale Cinderella—as envisioned by Walt Disney—has shaped the dreams of millions of young girls, who dream they will one day, they, too, will find their Prince Charming and live happily ever after.

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
switterbug (Betsey)
A certain mood flares or the moon beams, and I’m keen for an adult fairy tale--in this case, a fractured fairy tale (remember those?). I slipped gently into Grushin’s twisted, clever, and lyrical morality tale--a supple and exuberant allegory of women, their choices, and their consequences.

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
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, eagerly-read
'And perhaps the stories I hear are not precisely the stories they tell......"

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
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was excited for the opportunity of reading this book as I love the retelling of fairy tales. This was a tragedy. It was a difficult read, it retold supposedly the tale of Cinderella. It wasn't though. It is 13 years into the marriage of Cinder and the Prince. This was just another wife trying to escape a cruel, cheating husband.. No fairy tale, no magic...just bad writing. ...more
The Charmed wife by Olga Grushin is adult retelling of the time after Cinderella got her man the prince and lived happily after.
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
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I have always believed the ‘traditional’ fairy-tales and stories that were spoon-fed from a very young age (to myself and older generations) were ultimately damaging for girls. To grow up expecting to be saved, or looked after, is dangerous. Even if you know it’s ‘only’ a story, you are still subtly conditioned to feel less important, which, if not rooted out before adulthood, can change how you approach relationships – if a relationship doesn’t start out on an equal footing, it is usually doome ...more
Maira Bakenova
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What happens after a happy ending?

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
Nov 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow... I did not like this book at all. Not even a little. It's supposed to be a Cinderella retelling but it ended up being a weird mix of fairytale storytelling combined with modern day stuff. It confused me most of the time and the way things were being described was way too over the top for my liking. Not to mention the dull, one dimensional characters. Nope. ...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

Laura (Bookie_mama_bear)
Book 1 of 2021 - The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin, out 21 Jan 2021, it’s not to be missed. Especially if you love a fairytale retelling!

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
Davida Chazan
4.5/5 stars (updated)!

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

[UPDATE 2/6/2021: This is the kind of author I steer clear of. Since posting this review, she singled me out and posted a series of snide/backhanded comments such as "the review was an individual opinion and not fit to address for an author", then deleted all her posts so no one could read them, and deflected them all by gaslighting me about the intent of what her comments actually conveyed. I stand behind this review 100% with speci
RK Downs
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful, unexpected, kaleidoscope of a book. Olga Grushin’s delicious prose once again makes me want to underline one sentence after another, except that I would end up underlining more than half of the book. The metaphors are so rich and varied, the descriptions astonishingly original and sensory-laden.

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
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keep an open mind when reading this book. It’s captivating, imaginative and extremely strange in a magical way! Most of us grew up reading fairytales with beautiful princesses, handsome princes, ugly ogres and witches, potions, and happily-ever-afters. Throw all this out the window and enter a world where Prince Charming is unfaithful, Cinderella restless, godmothers and witches are not what they seem. And those mice sure have a story of their own! This book is not for everyone but if you read i ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-arc
Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review

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
Sara Zaninelli
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Kate Keehan at Hodder Books for sending me a proof of 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗱 𝗪𝗶𝗳𝗲 by Olga Grushin.
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
What happens next for Cinderella? Grushin’s fourth novel unpicks a classic fairy tale narrative, starting 13.5 years into a marriage when, far from being starry-eyed with love for Prince Roland, the narrator hates her philandering husband and wants him dead. As she retells the Cinderella story to her children one bedtime, it only underscores how awry her own romance has gone: “my once-happy ending has proved to be only another beginning, a prelude to a tale dimmer, grittier, far more ambiguous, ...more
No date, no rating - DNF @ p72/25%

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
Susan Tunis
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This take of Cinderella is funny, feisty, fierce, and feminist. What fun! Set aside your expectations, because this is not the fairy tale you know. It's what happens after the happily ever after, when it turns out that the prince is no prince, and the princess is damaged and fragile.

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
Bookworm Blogger
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would first like to thank Hodder & Stoughton for sending me an ARC of this fantastic book.

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
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fairytale retelling quite unlike any I’ve ever read.

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
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Add Cover For The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin 3 12 Jan 09, 2021 07:20PM  

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Olga Grushin is the author of four novels - The Charmed Wife, The Dream Life of Sukhanov, The Line, and Forty Rooms - as well as short stories, literary criticism, essays, and other works. She has been awarded the 2007 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and named one of the Best Young American Novelists by Granta magazine; her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Tim ...more

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