Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Beauty by Sherri S. Tepper

Beauty has always been one of my favorite novels, dating back from when I first read it as a teen. About once a year, I pick it up and read it again. It is always like meeting up with an old friend, comforting and familiar. It was always like that, even the first time, because Beauty is a fairytale retelling. Primarily a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but interwoven with a myriad of other classic fairy tales, the story will always seem familiar and then it will go veering off into the strange. Beauty if one of the few books I have ever read where I feel both fantasy and sci-fi work together instead of against. Most of the time, when a novel tries to have elements of both genres, it works against the believability of the novel's world. In Tepper's Beauty, it is the one world that is destroying the other and so it makes sense that they would work against each other. As of my last reading, I am noticing that it wasn't quite as enthralling as I recall but I don't think most books from our youth stand up to our jaded adult minds. I still love this book. There are parts that still make me very sad and others that still surprise me. That's impressive with my line of work.

Book Description: Drawing on the wellspring of tales such as "Sleeping Beauty," Beauty is a moving novel of love and loss, hope and despair, magic and nature. Set against a backdrop both enchanted and frightening, the story begins with a wicked aunt's curse that will afflict a young woman named Beauty on her sixteenth birthday. Though Beauty is able to sidestep tragedy, she soon finds herself embarked on an adventure of vast consequences. For it becomes clear that the enchanted places of this fantastic world--a place not unlike our own--are in danger and must be saved before it is too late.

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