Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Rose Daughter
Robin McKinley

The Beast's hand closed around the rose's stem; when he opened it, the palm was pierced, and drops of blood fell softly, making a dark stain like the first unfurling of a rosebud...
Twenty years ago, Robin McKinley dazzled readers with the power of her novel Beauty. Now this extraordinarily gifted novelist returns to the story of Beauty and the Beast with a fresh perspective, ingenuity, and mature insight.
With Rose Daughter, she presents her finest and most deeply felt work--a compelling, richly imagined, and haunting exploration of the transformative power of love.



Rosy's scrawlings on Rose Daughter
Rose Daughter is based on the story of Beauty And The Beast, in so far as it has roughly the same characters and roughly the same issues of love, faith and kindness. Unlike Beauty And The Beast this story is one for the grown ups, the mature minded and the mature of heart. Where Beauty And The Beast sinks into an appreciation of being loved, of promised riches and the standard prince makes princess tale with the twist of the princess doing the saving, Rose Daughter looks at what real and lasting love is, the earthiness of love and the need for kindness, forgiveness, acceptance and maturity in allowing that love to bloom like a rose. Along with this there's plenty of imagery and events revolving around gardening and, in particular, roses, which are often used to explain character emotions and thoughts so that Robin doesn't have to directly preach or give direction through her work.
The world of Rose Daughter is beautifully crafted, deeply enriched and colourful. The emotions are thick and far more believable than those of Robin's previous work Beauty or even Beauty And The Beast. Each character has more depth and believability than you'd expect from a near retelling of Beauty And The Beast, which has little to none. The depth of character combined with detailed descriptions of the landscape and gardening create a world that you can sink into with ease.
Like all Robin's works, the writing style is complex, lengthy and filled with poetry. Rose Daughter does not fail to be as addictive a read as her other stories. It is a hard to put down read that delights and surprises you with the differences between it and Beauty as well as Beauty And The Beast. You may believe you know enough of the Beauty And The Beast tale to not bother reading it but you would be missing out as Rose Daughter is not simply a retelling of the original but an expansion, progression and correction. I can guarantee that although you won't know where this story is headed you'll think you will and be happy to be wrong. This is one of the best love stories I've ever read, which is surprising considering it is based on one of the worst love stories I've ever read.

I'd recommend this book to: those who enjoy fairy tales, poetic writing, romances including realistic reactions and love, overly-romantic tales and gardening. 

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