Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This much-loved retelling of the classic French tale Beauty and the Beast elicits the familiar magical charm, but is more believable and complex than the traditional story. In this version, Beauty is not as beautiful as her older sisters, who are both lovely and kind. Here, in fact, Beauty has no confidence in her appearance but takes pride in her own intelligence, her love of learning and books, and her talent in riding. She is the most competent of the three sisters, which proves essential when they are forced to retire to the country because of their father's financial ruin.
The plot follows that of the renowned legend: Beauty selflessly agrees to inhabit the Beast's castle to spare her father's life. Beauty's gradual acceptance of the Beast and the couple's deepening trust and affection are amplified in novel form. Robin McKinley's writing has the flavor of another century, and Beauty heightens the authenticity as a reliable and competent narrator.
Robin McKinley did an excellent job of retelling the story of beauty and the beast. The life of Beauty is brought to life and we see her as a strong young woman who is very optomistic and fearless despite the fact that she has low self esteem. She is faced with the choice of going to live with Beast in order to save the life of her father. She sees this as an opportunity and an adventure, almost as if it is fate calling her. She goes there unafraid and makes a life there even tho she misses her family. We all know the story of how she does grow to love the beast. Its a timeless tale that has been wonderfully told and brought to life. A great read for anyone who loves the retelling of fairy tales.
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