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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister [Paperback]

Gregory Maguire
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 2000

We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave amongst the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty ... and what curses accompanied Cinderella's looks?

Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who is swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household - and the treacherous truth of her former life. Far more than a mere fairy tale, this is a novel of beauty and betrayal, reminding us that deception can be unearthed - and love unveiled - in the most unexpected of places.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister + Mirror Mirror + Son of a Witch (Wicked Years 2)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: ReganBooks; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (1 Dec 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060987529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060987527
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Mirror Mirror, Lost, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men, which have earned him rave reviews and a dedicated following.
He received his doctorate in English Literature from Tufts University, and has taught at Simmons College and other Boston area colleges.
He has also served as an artist-in-residence at the Blue Mountain Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Hambidge Center.
Gregory has lived in Dublin and London, but now makes his home near Boston, Massachusetts, with his partner, their two sons and daughter.

Product Description

Book Description

A novel of beauty and betrayal, which reminds us that deception can be unearthed - and love unveiled - in the most unexpected of places

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Gregory Maguire is a bestselling author who has earned rave reviews and a dedicated following for Wicked. He received his doctorate in English Literature from Tufts University, and has taught at Simmons College and other Boston area colleges. He has also served as an artist-in-residence at the Blue Mountain Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Hambridge Center. Gregory has lived in Dublin and London, but now makes his home near Boston, Massachusetts, with his partner, their two sons and daughter. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful re-telling 20 May 2008
By Deborah
Format:Hardcover
This review relates to the paperback edition.

During an enforced 3-hour stopover at Los Angeles airport I found this and couldn't resist the cover or the blurb. I haven't read/seen any of his books, so had nothing with which to compare this, and I loved it. It runs alongside Cinderella in a non-parallel line which every now and again curves in to touch the fairy story and remind us of the original, but at the same time keeps very much to its own path. The setting of 17th-century Holland is evocative and atmospheric, including the use of art and the tulip-trade, the machinations of the desperate Margarethe are terrible and at the same time understandable, and Iris is - well, she's lovely. There are comments in some reviews that there is no magic in this book and strictly speaking that's true, but there is definitely more than a hint of something other-worldly and dangerous that lurks in the background and pervades the atmosphere of this book.

The illustrations are lovely - I hope they have been kept in the hardback edition.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an interseting take on an old story 4 April 2006
Format:Paperback
i actually wanted to read this book because i'd seen the film adaptation and i was interested i where the idea had come from. the film itself while intinsically the same varies in a few ways, so dont assume you can skip the book and watch the film. But i'd advise you not to skip the book as it is beautifully written and a joy to read. it's a real page turner of a book. i loved it because i just love that whole reinventing a fairytale concept.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant re-working of the Cinderella story 26 May 2002
Format:Paperback
You will fall in love with plain Iris as she lives her life in the shadow of the beautiful, troubled and petulant Clara. The book explores the nature of beauty and love, painting and the early tulip trade in Holland. Full of twists and surprises. Don't miss it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark fairy-tale of old 2 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback
By turns funny and tragic, this story reads like a fairy-tale, one of the important yet disturbing ones by Andersen for example. There is innocence and loss thereof, kindness and cruelty, meditations on the function of art in relation to beauty, and an ending so layered you'll be baffled as to whether it's actually happy or not. Add to that a framing device so clever it will guide yet deceive you until the very end, and you've got a very good book indeed. Sadly though, like "Wicked", a couple of scenes make this unsuitable for the kiddies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The pumpkin doesn't stop here 22 Sep 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this dark unusal twist on Cinderella but didn't enjoy it as much as "Wicked".

The setting of Holland is very well painted as are the descriptions of the 3 girls. However, Clara needed a bit of a slap several times during the book! So, maybe it has moved me enough to make the character annoy me!

I'm intrigued enough to read his other books.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Art 15 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback
This is probably my favourite book by this author. Although, there is actually no magic taking place in this story line, there are lots of ordinary actions that produce the same affect. The characters are all fully believable and hold your interest through this book. There is also a strong sense of the magic of art in this book - some of the descriptive passages are the best I have read in a long time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Confess better than Wicked! 26 May 2008
Format:Paperback
A brilliant take on the story of Cinderella that I really loved. Very clever and much more human than his other stories as there are no elements of fantasy but its just as magical. Son of a Witch is in my opinion Maguires best book but this is a close second.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful re-telling 18 April 2008
By Deborah
Format:Paperback
During an enforced 3-hour stopover at Los Angeles airport I found this and couldn't resist the cover or the blurb. I haven't read/seen any of his books, so had nothing with which to compare this, and I loved it. It runs alongside Cinderella in a non-parallel line which every now and again curves in to touch the fairy story and remind us of the original, but at the same time keeps very much to its own path. The setting of 17th-century Holland is evocative and atmospheric, including the use of art and the tulip-trade, the machinations of the desperate Margarethe are terrible and at the same time understandable, and Iris is - well, she's lovely. There are comments in some reviews that there is no magic in this book and strictly speaking that's true, but there is definitely more than a hint of something other-worldly and dangerous that lurks in the background and pervades the atmosphere of this book.

The illustrations are lovely - I see this has just been re-released in hardback and I hope they've kept them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Another brilliant novel by Gregory Maguire. Ever since I read Wicked five years ago, I have since enjoyed his descriptive style and interesting takes on classic themes in Son of a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miss Esther West
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Starting to read this and getting into it.
Published 2 months ago by Ann mc connell
5.0 out of 5 stars Engulfing
I have read the Wicked series, and loved how Maguire created a world rich with politics, culture, religion and history (As a science nerd I don't usually like politics/history so... Read more
Published 23 months ago by H. Gohil
3.0 out of 5 stars Maguire's Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
A delightfully dark and twisted version of the classic fairytale, told from the point of view of one of the ugly sisters. Read more
Published on 7 Jun 2012 by Victoria
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Bought this book after reading 'Wicked', and im so glad I did! Brilliant idea and such a good story, have recommended to everyone I know!
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by Monghog
4.0 out of 5 stars A really interesting reworking of the Cinderella story, better for...
Gregory Maguire is an author probably best known for his adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, Wicked. Ifve read the entire trilogy, with somewhat mixed results: Wicked itself I... Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2011 by Katie Stevens
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall, it was an okay read
I appreciated the sensory details and descriptions, and the various characters are original. There's a nice twist near the end which gave me a little brain jolt, and I always like... Read more
Published on 17 Dec 2010 by Rebecca
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality product!
Good quality item, i was very impressed with its condition! i would recommend this seller to anyone!!
Published on 31 Aug 2009 by L. Rowley
5.0 out of 5 stars confessions yes, wicked no
This is my favourite book in this genre (I'm used to reading Sci-fi) I was pleasently surprised and couldn't put the book down I would definately recommend it. Read more
Published on 22 Aug 2007 by Amazon Customer
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