Saturday, February 23, 2008

Robin McKinley: Beauty

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & The Beast: A-
Beauty & Beast

This much-loved retelling of the classic French tale Beauty and the Beast elicits the familiar magical charm, but is more believable and complex than the traditional story. In this version, Beauty is not as beautiful as her older sisters, who are both lovely and kind. Here, in fact, Beauty has no confidence in her appearance but takes pride in her own intelligence, her love of learning and books, and her talent in riding. She is the most competent of the three sisters, which proves essential when they are forced to retire to the country because of their father's financial ruin.

The plot follows that of the renowned legend: Beauty selflessly agrees to inhabit the Beast's castle to spare her father's life. Beauty's gradual acceptance of the Beast and the couple's deepening trust and affection are amplified in novel form. Robin McKinley's writing has the flavor of another century, and Beauty heightens the authenticity as a reliable and competent narrator.

This was McKinley's first book, written almost 20 years ago… (amazon)

This a spin off of the beloved Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast (and also my favorite). I really enjoyed this story because it had a lot more depth in the story of Beast and Belle’s journey as she gets to know the Beast. It was a little slow in certain parts, however, I came to love the Beast as Belle did. (sigh)

There was also much more information regarding Belle’s sisters and of her family, in this story, which was nice because you really get a sense of what Belle sacrificed in order to live with the Beast. Not a romance, but a sweet story of two people falling in love.

And truly, his library is wondrous. I’d totally hook up with the Beast for a library like that. (double sigh).

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I love Beauty. It is, hands down, my favorite of all the books Robin McKinley has written. I even had my students read it for our summer book club last year. She was able to create a rich, vivid world without succumbing to her tendency to write obsessively about the flora in and around their homes (oh, she just goes on and on in some of her other books!) I tend to recommend this book to people as an intro to McKinley's work. Next to this title, I would have to suggest her books The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, and Sunshine.