Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon

After reading the rather serious novel Cider House Rules by John Iriving, I was in the mood for something a little more lighthearted and a “fast read.” Thus, I turned to a book that I had in my bookcase for a while, just have never started since it’s by an author I am unfamiliar with. I’m always very cautious in starting an author who I’ve never read for if I start a book and don’t like it, I still read it. HA!

Fairy tales are something that I always turn to make me happy. There’s a way that fairy tales make you feel young again, similar to a child hearing the story for the first time. The Fairest of Them All is a story about Rapunzel and her story from childhood to adulthood. Turgeon provides a very interesting take on Rapunzel’s fairy tale and mix it with Snow White.

Rapunzel grew up with Mother Gothel in a Tower outside of the Palace in a forest. The story began with Gothel sharing all of her witchcraft skill with Rapunzel, thus Rapunzel is a witch. One day, a Prince showed up at their forest hideout and fell in love with Rapunzel. He returned to his palace to marry a princess from the East and together they had a child named Snow White. In a few years, the king dies and the prince and princess become King and Queen. Thus, Gothel has the Queen poisoned so that the king will be free to marry Rapunzel making Rapunzel Snow White’s stepmother. Read the book, if you want the end of the story!

The book took me 36 hours to read, so it’s a very easy read. The characters, while usual for the fairy tales, Turgeon is a gifted storyteller that puts an interesting twist on a traditional story. I will be honest and was not expecting Rapunzel and Snow White to be in the same story, let alone Rapunzel being Snow White’s stepmother. There were no seven dwarfs though, so sad!

All together I enjoyed the book, and while it was not something to rave about, it satisfied my reading thirst for a light read. I haven’t read a lot of sci-fi/magical books recently, so this was a good change of pace for me. And would be for you too. The best part: it was 66% off at Barnes & Noble. WIN!



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