Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley (Book Review)

Most folks know the story of Beauty and the Beast – a merchant takes a flower from an enchanted estate and the owner, the beast, insists that either the merchant must die or send his daughter to live with the beast. The daughter goes and over time, learns to trust the beast, but still pines for home. Eventually, she agrees to marry the beast, this breaks the curse and releases the handsome man (prince?) and his estate.

I thought that the retelling of this story would add a twist – perhaps set it in more modern times, or give more power to Beauty. But essentially it is simply a telling of the story that we all know. It’s good, but I was let down by my own misplaced expectations. Looking it up, I now see it was written in 1978. I thought it was a contemporary novel – certainly the copy I had was a recent reprint.

I have had this book recommended by several people who love it, so it clearly comes down to individual tastes. If you enjoy a good fairy tale, this may be the book for you!

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