Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings–the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming.
But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world. But then one day she meets Veronica–a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with a love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men–and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she’s been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for. . .
Carolyn Turgeon has once again weaved a dark tale. If you’re not familiar with Turgeon’s stories, this gal loves to take the pretty fairytales we all know and love and twist it into something dark, much like the original stories. I highly recommend giving her books a go if you love dark retellings.
Godmother wasn’t my favorite from Turgeon, but it certainly left me in wonder and surprise. The pace of this book, compared to the others, felt slow. But when it came to those last 100 pages, it all began to string together and form a harsh reality. One that still has me wondering.
Allow me to dissect the pieces of Godmother and tell you what I loved and disliked.
Turgeon has a lovely writing style that elaborates not only the surroundings, but both the positive and negative feelings us humans suffer through day after day. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel as much as that power here in Godmother compared to her other works, such as The Fairest of Them All (READ THIS BTW BECAUSE IT IS AMAZING) and Mermaid. But oh my, were there some pretty quotes.
All my old loves will be returned to me.
This was repeated throughout the novel and left me with this wistful feeling that I believe all of us can relate to. Though they are few words, they do pack a powerful punch. And I would have liked to have felt that more throughout the entirety of the novel.
Godmother presents that perfect what if situation. What if Cinderella’s fairy godmother fell in love with Prince Charming? What if he fell in love with the fairy godmother and not Cinderella?
The plot is one of my favorite elements of this novel. Turgeon takes us to the past where Lil struggles with her emotions with the prince then to the present where she is filled with guilt because of what she has done.
I really admire writers who are able to flash between the present and the past in their stories. And though it became a bit confusing at times in Godmother, Turgeon overall pulled it off. She delivered a tale of love and magic and loss with a bittersweet(?) end.
The characters, particularly Lil, did show development by the end of the novel. However, I didn’t necessarily feel too connected to anyone. I loved reading about Lil and what happened with her past, though I found her inner monologue to become a bit repetitive. Though, I have no room to judge because I was known for doing the same thing myself.
I also did really like Veronica and George and how they bloomed as individuals throughout the novel. The scenes where those two would interact were probably some of my favorites.
Each character did feel real in their own way, but I just didn’t connect too deeply with anyone. But as we all know, books and all creative works are clearly subjective. I think Turgeon did an incredible job at creating these characters, even if I didn’t connect with them.
As I said, I may not have loved this as much as Turgeon’s other books, but this was still an enjoying read that left me in shock. Turgoen always sends her readers on a specific path, only to leave you lost in a dark forest at the end. They are not happy tales, but they are real, and that is something I admire.
So if you’re looking for a cutesy and romantic novel, steer away from these novels. But if you’re in search of a dark and twisted fairy tale retelling, give Godmother a read. And also Fairest of Them All because SERIOUSLY IT IS SO GOOD OMG.
What are some of your all-time favorite retellings and fairytales? Do you prefer when stories are dark and twisted or light and fuzzy?
If you have any recommendations, thoughts, or comments, go ahead and drop them down below and let me know!