Beauty and the Beast


FAIRYTALE:  Once upon a time there was a cruel young Prince named Leopold. Immensely spoiled, Leopold found humor in other's misfortune and one day unleashed his wrath upon an old woman by the banks of the river near his home.  She was then forgotten by everyone, not the least of whom was Prince Leopold - until his eighteenth birthday.  The old crone reappeared on that day and found the same cruel, ignorant boy habiting the form of a handsome young man. Villeneuve Castle has never been the same, and the villagers are terrified of the mysterious creature that haunts the place at night. We all know what happens next  - the merchant stranded in the castle by a storm picks a rose 

for his daughter and seals her fate forever - and this tale is exactly that.  


Sarah Winter's retelling of the classic fairy tale is not much different than the original.  In fact, nothing about the plot itself, the order of events, or the outcome is original. Readers will be turning pages, used to modern takes and twists in retellings of fairly tales, and will not find any in this.


However, what Ms. Winter has done is taken pieces of every version of this fairy tale from known to obscure, and combined them all into one cohesive piece of literature. The technical, literary, and storytelling skill needed to take pieces from everywhere to create a longer version and do it well—and make no mistake, it is done incredibly well—is astounding. From the Grimms Brothers’ version to Disney’s, readers will see parts of every single one of them in her account, and it is all seamlessly done. 


Julie York