A Modern Cinderella: or The Little Old Shoe and Other Stories Paperback – 15 Sep 2007
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About the Author
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) is the author of the beloved Little Women, which was based on her own experiences growing up in New England with her parents and three sisters. More than a century after her death, Louisa May Alcott's stories continue to delight readers of all ages.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Those are all good things, right? Well, yes, as long as they’re modified to fit the format they’re in. Alcott wrote four short-long stories that tried to be like her novels and just didn’t make the cut. All four have merits, but all four also have more than a few failings.
For example, the title story has three sisters: Nan, the good, matronly one; Di, the literary one; and Laura, the pining, artistic one. It’s different from the original Cinderella in that Di and Laura really are good sisters, if not inclined toward doing their share of the housework, and the prince isn’t really a prince: he’s just Nan’s good friend John (which makes the romance all the better, I think). However, the parts of the story that don’t have to do with Cinderella are predictable and rather boring. We know who’s ending up with who, and there are zero twists.
The next story is that of Debby, a country girl who won’t put up with any of her aunt’s attempts to turn her into a society lady. The way she meets one of her love interests is cute – he was looking over her shoulder to see what she was reading and laughed out loud – but the rest of the romances are glossed over. It’s really more of a morality tale – a little too overtly moral, if you ask me.
The third story is the shocker: it’s the tale of a freed slave fighting for the Union who shares his sad story with a nurse who helps take care of him. It’s full of revenge, sorrow, and melodrama: a highly atypical Alcott tale! (In fact, it sounds a lot more like the “blood and thunder” thrillers she wrote while getting her start than anything else.) Although it’s inspiring and gripping, it didn’t quite leave me satisfied.
The last story is sweet, recounting the history of a little girl who sets up an animal hospital. The tale wouldn’t be half as heartwarming without the addition of a wounded brother who feels useless at home but is quickly put to work helping his sister care for her creatures. Despite the wholesome sweetness of it, though, it lacks much character to set it apart from any other children’s story.
All in all, a devoted Alcott fan who’s bought up everything else she’s written should enjoy this. If you’re new, skip it and head for “Little Women” instead.