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{January 20, 2013}   {Review} Cinderella’s Secret Diary: Lost by Ron Vitale (Cinderella’s Secret Diary #1)

12429386From Goodreads: What happened to Cinderella after she married the Prince? Set in the late 1700s as Napoleon is rising to power, Cinderella embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to come to terms with her failed marriage and her inability to have a child. Torn between the Queen’s insistence that she try all means necessary to conceive and her own desires, she agrees to travel to Paris to consult with a witch to help her become pregnant. Her journey leads her to find her long lost Fairy Godmother and aids her to solve the mystery behind her mother’s death. Yet the Fey Lord, the Silver Fox, also takes notice in her and her world is suddenly turned upside down…

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Have you ever wondered what Cinderella’s life was like after the fairy tale version ended with its “happily ever after” catchphrase?  Was it truly happy?  I mean, really now, Cinderella knew Prince Charming for all of a few hours before they decided to get married.  Heavenly bliss? I’ve always wondered, and if you’ve always wondered, then this is the novel for you.

Vitale has written an epistolary novel that gives readers an in-depth look into the mind of Cinderella after all is said and done in the original tale.  And life has not been very good to her.  Prince Charming is all but charming, his mother is cold-hearted and desperate for an heir, and Cinderella is locked in a loveless marriage full of infidelity and disrespect.  As Cinderella begins her letters to her fairy godmother, pleading for help, the reader is taken on a journey of betrayal and intrigue in which those we’ve come to love in the classic fairytale become anything but loveable.  Not all is what it seems in the classic tale, and Vitale really spins an interesting story.

To be honest, the beginning of the novel didn’t pull me in as quickly as I’d hoped.  Reading Cinderella’s diary/letters made me feel very depressed and saddened for our beloved heroine, but then she begins making choices that make her less likeable and more a rogue, like those around her.  She became a real person, with real desires, jealousy, hatred, and lust.  I don’t think I was ready for that.  But Vitale takes it a step further, and as we learn more about the truths behind the fairytale, the story picks up speed and becomes a whirlwind of suspense, mystery, and intrigue.  I especially loved that not all are who we’ve thought them to be, in many senses.  And, the addition of the Silver Fox, as well as his identity, completely knocked me over.  It was such a great and terrible surprise all in one, and in the end, I really enjoyed this story.  Though it took me a little bit to become wrapped within the story itself, I did become enthralled and I highly suggest this novel to anyone out there who likes to read about the after in “ever after,” especially when the fey and magical realms become involved. Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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