Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - STUCK

by Gregory Maguire | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0060987529 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingsgscarcliffwing on 3/28/2003
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
14 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingsgscarcliffwing on Friday, March 28, 2003
This book is currently a US and Canada bookray, another copy is currently an international bookary. If you are not in the US or Canada check my other bookray for this book.

The the order is posted below and subject to change if needed.

When ready to mail to the next person, PM them to get their address. I would suggest giving a week of reply time and 2-3 requests for addresses, since not everyone has easy access to e-mail. If someone knows they will be unreachable by e-mail for a little while, PM the person in front of you with your address, so they can send the book when ready.

From the Publisher
Is this new land a place where magics really happen?

From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second novel, a brilliant and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella tale.

In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats....

We all have heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among 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 exquisite looks?

Extreme beauty is an affliction

Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.

Clara was the prettiest child, but was her life the prettiest tale?

While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, burning all memories of her past, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household—and the treacherous truth of her former life.

God and Satan snarling at each other like dogs.... Imps and fairy godmotbers trying to undo each other's work. How we try to pin the world between opposite extremes!

Far more than a mere fairy-tale, Confessions of an UglyStepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed—and love unveiled—in the most unexpected of places.

Journal Entry 2 by wingsgscarcliffwing on Friday, March 28, 2003
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Bookray

Bookray Order and Status
As journal entries are made, I will update the status.

Once you are done with the book, PM the next person for their address. If there is no response PM again after 3 or 4 days and after 1 week PM the next person, to keep the book moving. If you know you will be away from e-mail PM your address to the person ahead of you so they can mail the book when done.
Upon receiving and shipping the book, please do a journal entry so I and everyone else can track its progress.

Thanks I hope everyone enjoys the book

AmberLee17 California Maile received 4/1 Mailed 4/14
Bassoony Utah Received May 2
eireannaigh Kansas Received 5/12 mailed 5/17
Marinaw Texas Received 5/28
busybusybee Louisana Mailed 7/10/03
Moonglow18 Alabama Mailed 8/7/03
Mazel Florida mailed 10/30/03
jengif received 1/03/04 mailed 1/20/04
Sejent Kentucky Received 1/26/04
Grover3d West VA Received 3/30/04
Cray17 New Jersey received 4/28/04 Mailing 5/10/04
phillycarol Pennsylvania received 5/18/04
Mom-of-One Received 5/29/04
zmrzlina Massachusetts
JPandJo Pennsylvania
jazzy7112 Onterio Canada
Cestmoi Onterio Canada
Branna Alberta Canada
Doris Quebec Canada
shendoah California
Moogytee California
Wickedwordz Florida
Jasmine98 Indiana
jenvince California
AngelKitty Colorado
lorelei5 NC

Journal Entry 3 by AmberLee17 from Stockton, California USA on Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Yikes. It looks good, but I'm not sure who the next person in the bookray is ... Oh well, I'll enjoy it and hope for more info when it's been read.

Journal Entry 4 by AmberLee17 from Stockton, California USA on Friday, April 04, 2003
Wow, it reads quick and is fun; although thought-provoking.

I'm about 3/4 through it today. Here are some of my favorite quotes so far.

From the Master-painter to Iris, the central character/ ugly step-sister: "...To consider what other people might say is hardly a good reason to take action or defer it. You have your own life to live, Iris, and at its end, the only opinion that amounts to anything is that which God bestows."

Discussing the visiting queen, who has a reputation for being overbearing. Iris' mothersays: "I like her zeal," says Margarethe blandly. "Why shouldn't she arrange the world to suit herself? Wouldn't we all, if we could?"

In arranging for her daughters and not her stepdaughter to attend the queen's ball: "No mother, however hard she tries, can convince her children of their own worth," says Margarethe. ...

Journal Entry 5 by bassoony from Saratoga Springs, Utah USA on Friday, May 02, 2003
I enjoyed this book. It was a little dark and creepy in many ways, and closer to the truth of the human heart. It lends an insightful view to the old story of Cinderella, and while it is sadder than Disney, and not as comfortable, it's a story of compassion. Evil isn't easily recognized, and when it is recognized, it's mixed with pain and heartbreak, so the overall character is more pathetic than wicked. And of fairy godmothers and pumpkins, the small magic is revealed to be within the capabilities of the human heart. Very little about this novel is as it seems. One must look past the obvious to see the stories that matter. It's well worth the look, and the end resolves well. Happily ever after, as they say, but again, not as you would think.

Journal Entry 6 by eireannaigh from Valley Center, Kansas USA on Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Received this yesterday, have already read 1/2. Was this a movie? I know that I have not read the book, yet I know the story. oh well..I am so far enjoying it. Will let you know when I have finished.

Journal Entry 7 by eireannaigh from Valley Center, Kansas USA on Thursday, May 15, 2003
I loved the dark humor and deranged minds of the conversationalists. How does a woman know her worth? Apparently she finds it in murder and food. It was indeed a pleasure to read. I will be sending it to the next person in line.
sent to Marinaw on 5-17-03

Journal Entry 8 by marinaw from Dripping Springs, Texas USA on Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Received in today's mail delivery. Have had this on my wish list (long before BookCrossing) for years. Ridiculously happy to have the chance and the obligation to read it within the next month.

(Longer Journal Later)

Journal Entry 9 by marinaw from Dripping Springs, Texas USA on Wednesday, July 02, 2003
I read "Wicked" years ago and enjoyed it thoroughly for the alternate perspective of the Oz tale. While *this* book was entertaining, I was disappointed with Maguire's tame approach with this plot and these characters. I believe that more could have been done with both Clara's kidnapping and with her interaction with the Prince that would have matched the precedent I'd thought the author set with Wicked. Keep in mind that the time I actually spent with the book was heavily distracted with my new job and a house move (both are causing me more grief than what I deem normal), and I just might not have been able to catch on with Maguire's overly subtle writing style.

[This edition contains a Reader's Group Guide in the back, so out of laziness, and due to time constraints, I'll include my thoughts on a few of the questions...]

Margarethe's favorite saying about the eel spear most definitely tells us that she isn't above calling upon death if it means her survival. It also tells us that she'll focus heavily on the "meditiation" aspect of premeditation if that's what is necessary for her success. This ties in with her other "sage" advice involves knowing when to jump. At least she's consistent! We all know how important that is when raising children ;)

As far as "happily ever after" is concerned, I think that everyone who actively did ill, and those who "only" had a poor attitude towards others, got what they deserved from life.

Update 07/03/03: mailing to busybusybee today.

Journal Entry 10 by busybusybee from Zachary, Louisiana USA on Wednesday, July 09, 2003
I received this book as a trade from another book crossing member so I am sending it on to Moonglow18 as soon as I get her address. Thanks sgscarcliff for starting this awesome book ray!!

Journal Entry 11 by busybusybee at Sent to Moonglow18 in the mail. in Rainsville, Alabama USA on Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Release planned for Thursday, July 10, 2003 at Sent to Moonglow18 in the mail. in Rainsville, Alabama USA.

I am sending this book ray on its way to moonglow18 ... Enjoy!!

Journal Entry 12 by moonglow18 from Rainsville, Alabama USA on Monday, July 21, 2003
Received this today and will get on it soon. I am finishing up another bookring book so it might be a few days. Will journal again when finished.

Journal Entry 13 by moonglow18 from Rainsville, Alabama USA on Thursday, August 07, 2003
I just couldn't seem to enjoy this book no matter how hard i tried. Maybe it was just a bad time to try something different. Well i hope the next person enjoys it.

Journal Entry 14 by moonglow18 at Another bookcrossing member in Rainsville, Alabama USA on Thursday, August 07, 2003
Released on Thursday, August 07, 2003 at Another bookcrossing member in Orlando, FL USA.

Snail mailed to mazel

Journal Entry 15 by mazel from Orlando, Florida USA on Friday, October 17, 2003
I am sorry it has not been journaled. I have been without a computer.

Released on Thursday, October 30, 2003 at sending in the mail in Orlando, Florida USA.

Mailing today!

Journal Entry 17 by Jengif from Greenville, North Carolina USA on Sunday, January 04, 2004
I got home from New Hampshire this morning to find this book waiting for me. It seemed like a miracle that Confessions finally made it here. Of course, it was hardly the post office's fault that it took so long. The book was postmarked on December 26th. Since the book wasn’t lost in the mail, it seems more likely that mazel simply didn't feel like mailing it.

Journal Entry 18 by Jengif from Greenville, North Carolina USA on Monday, January 19, 2004
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was a great book. My perception of the Cinderella story has completely changed. Of course, my perceptions have only come from the Disney image of Cinderella. I was really surprised to learn that versions of the Cinderella story have been around for as long as a thousand years!

I was seriously rooting for Iris. Although I couldn’t have cared less about Cinderella getting a fairy tale ending, I wanted Iris to have one. The ending did disappoint me. Up until the Epilogue the story was completely focused. I’m not quite sure why Gregory Maguire felt that he needed such a radical shift for the last few pages.

All in all, Confessions was an excellent book. I definitely plan on reading more of Maguire and I can’t wait to get a hold of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Journal Entry 19 by Jengif from Greenville, North Carolina USA on Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Mailed to Sejent in Kentucky.

Journal Entry 20 by sejent from Louisville, Kentucky USA on Monday, January 26, 2004
Received in today's mail...will start reading soon and will journal again when I have finished.

Journal Entry 21 by sejent from Louisville, Kentucky USA on Monday, March 22, 2004
Interesting...not exactly what I was expecting, but an interesting take on a classic tale.

Sending to Grover3d in Charleston, WV.

Journal Entry 22 by grover3d from Charleston, West Virginia USA on Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Received today. I have a couple of ring/ray books before this one, but I'll read as fast as I can. Thanks!

Journal Entry 23 by grover3d from Charleston, West Virginia USA on Tuesday, April 13, 2004
An OK book, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as WICKED...perhaps because what is most fascinating about WICKED is the detailed use of THE WIZARD OF OZ myth - and with the Cinderella story there is simply little fodder for a novel length book - CONFESSIONS is no more than historical fantasy with the bare minimum of trappings from the Cinderella story.

I'm glad to have read this as it had been on my "must read" list for awhile. Thank you for sharing it!

DC# - 0303 246 0000 0735 0289

Journal Entry 24 by Cray17 from Hillsborough, New Jersey USA on Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Thanks grover3d. I received this book in the mail yesterday. I will read it and move it on.

Journal Entry 25 by Cray17 from Hillsborough, New Jersey USA on Sunday, May 09, 2004
I didn't know what to expect when this book arrived, but I'm glad I finally had to a chance to read it. I liked the twist on the traditional story. I also liked the character development of all three of the girls and the humor between the Master and Caspar. The end seemed to move almost too fast and the epilogue surprised me.

Mailed to phillycarol.

Journal Entry 26 by phillycarol from King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Received in the mail yesterday and already started reading it on my train ride to work today. I've been looking forward to this book ever since I read Wicked. Hope it lives up to my expectations. :)

5/30/04 - Oops! I thought I journaled this book already. I guess I just thought about it but never put it in print. Anyway, this was a good story but I don't think it evens compares to Wicked. I wish I read this one first so I wasn't comparing it to Wicked the whole time. It was an interesting twist to the Disney story.

Journal Entry 27 by Mom-of-one from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA on Sunday, May 30, 2004
Received this in the mail Friday and have already started reading! So far, I love it...but then again, I loved Wicked by Gregory Maguire, too.

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