Marcie's Reviews > Matchless: A Christmas Story

Matchless by Gregory Maguire
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's review
Jul 19, 2011

really liked it

My Thoughts After Reading:

I adore Maguire.

Life is precarious, like the spark of a matchstick.

The author refers to this work as "an illumination of Hans Christian Andersen's classic 'The Little Match Girl,'" but it's more of a rekindling of a fairy tale of the past that is no longer suited to modern taste. It's...sad.

The Godless people we are today can only see a grim, brutal reality, not the transcendence of the spirit and connection in the universe. So Maguire retells the tale with new elements to help us grasp the other.

A beautiful life grows out of the tragedy of the poor, little match girl freezing to death. And life is like that, isn't it, swinging from bitter cold and despair to a warm, nurturing blaze and back again.

This tiny book is gorgeous with a cover in a linen pattern of vibrant green, the color of summer grass. The cover design incorporates a piece of aged parchment with torn edges and little pricks of red glitter as scattered match heads. Then there's the lush green swirly end pages...like holding an antique treasure in your hands. The pages lie in bunches, are those page signatures sewn together? Who makes books like this today!? Charming.
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