My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Gregory McGuire with another children’s fairy tale executed with such class. I’m so jealous. I wish I could write with the suave he manages. This interpretation of Snow White as set in Renaissance Italy, weaves magic, history, religion, and family into one (not unlike his other novels). I love when history twists with fantasy, and this novel did nothing but make me love it more. Though short and almost vague, this novel provides a quick fairy tale fix as well as a history lesson on the lecherous Borgias.
Some reviews I read say they were disappointed with the amount of time the characters received, but McGuire did a lot in such little time. Each character played a role in the story (as in most fairy tales), and each was given their fair share of the narrative. By progressing the timeline (skipping several years at a time), the characters were given the chance to react to changes in their lives. I think those little changes gave me more of an understanding of who they were and where they were coming from.
The best part of this story, for me, was the circularity. There’s something so satisfying about the intertwining characters and the story arc as a whole. I may be back on the Gregory McGuire bandwagon.