Title: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Author: Gregory Maguire
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy tales
Published: November 1999 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source: Borrowed from a friend
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT?
Here’s a description from the publisher:
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.
Far more than a mere fairy-tale, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister 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.