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Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister Paperback – Sep 21 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (Sept. 21 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060987529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060987527
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #113,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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This is a really interesting take on Cinderella, not least because of the setting in Holland during the tulip crash. I enjoyed it very much, although I found it moved a little slower than Wicked in the beginning. Iris's insights into those around her and reading through her lens was increasingly interesting as the story developed. There may not really be any wicked stepsisters here, but the Iris's mother is surely both a hate-able and pitiable person who justifies all her actions by claiming it's all for her girls. She isn't quite a witch, but it is difficult to say whether any of her qualities are even remotely redeeming. The ending left me mildly unfulfilled but I really did like the final input from Ruth.
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Format: Paperback
First things first, I'm not usually one for the hero of a story; I usually more side with the villians. I've just found the 'bad guys' to be more interesting.
Second thing, for the most part, I am strong strongly AGAINST the whole Cinderella story, espeically the Disney version; I don't like the unconsiouse images that it represents, but this isn't where we discuss them.
I read "Confessions" in a single day; in all honestly, I was enthrolled by the book because it was a different side of the coin. It took a different spin on the story and gave life to the stepsisters, and especially Iris. Gregory Mcguire made Irish real; some you could rally behind, some one you could have sympathy for; an underdog.
I really liked this book, and if you want a different take, and aren't completely obsessed with the cleaned-up version Disney Cinderella, give this book a look through.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Reviewer on Jan. 10 2001
Format: Paperback
First of all, "Confessions" is a very, very different version of the Cinderella story. For one, Clara, our Cinderella, is not the kind, gentle, hardworking girl the fairy tale has. She is spoiled, stubborn, and timid. The evil stepsisters are not evil; Iris, our main character, is plain, but smart and has an eye for art, and Ruth, the older stepsister, cannot take care of herself, cannot speak, but does have a good heart. Margarethe, the stepmother, is not nessecarily evil, but ambitious. She will do anything and everything to ensure that her family has enough food, but it is her own greed that brings the downfall of their family.
That said, "Confessions" is good, but if you have a very strong version of the Cinderella tale, I wouldn't recommend it that much. This could have actually happened; and the book is vivid with detail; the poor souls the Master paints, the tulips, the day the river freezes over . . . everything.
It has the same basic plot as Cinderella: a mother and her two daughters marry a wealthy man who has an unearthly beauty for a daughter. Only, Clara is not forced to work; she retreats to the kitchen and ashes to hide from Margarethe, and even gives herself the name Cinderella. Iris struggles to help Clara, and still be loyal to her mother and Ruth, but an offer to be the apprentice to the Master, a painter, is too good to resist. When the night of the ball does arrive, Clara is convinced to go, though she does so reluctantly. At first, Iris and the prince hit it off, and then enter Clara. Prince and Clara disappear into another room, where they remain for the remainder of the evening. Do the prince and Clara fall in love? Is there a glass slipper? Is Clara really a changling? Is there more to Ruth than what meets the eye? What secrets lie in the past.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14 2004
Format: Paperback
I do not include LOST in the category of Maguire's best novels, since it is not like the other three. Having read all, however, I'd have to say COAUS was my favorite.
I think if you read this book, you'd either love it or hate it. My mom tried reading it and couldn't get past the prologue. I read it, and bawled my eyes out in the epilogue.
It was a bit slow, but that's the style of his books. From what I gather, you're supposed to savour every word and detail.
Iris is incredibly likeable, as is her older sister (don't remember the name).
I loved both the novel and stage adaptation of Wicked, and didn't think anything could beat it, but COAUS is my favorite book. Mirror Mirror was also thrilling, but there really wasn't much read there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Wren on June 21 2004
Format: Paperback
I never write reviews on here, but I just finished this book and I have to say it was one of the best books I have read in a long time. I will never look at Cinderella the same way again. This book doesn't just retell the story from another point of view, it does so by creating characters you connect with and pulling you into the story so much that you forget it's the same old fairy tale. I admit it's a little slow in the beginning, and it took me a few chapters to get totally into it, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I expected this to be one of those stories where the Stepsister tells her side of the story, putting all the blame on Cinderella, but what I found was a truly moving story where there isn't a real villain, just three sisters who are all products of a dysfunctional family.
I seriously reccomend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia F. Whitaker on June 4 2004
Format: Paperback
I learned of Gregory Maguire when a friend recommended Wicked (which is fantabulous, by the way) and when I ordered Wicked, I orders Confessions... too. I read it in three days; I simply could not put it down. To those of you who feel strongly about the origional Cinderella story, you may not want to read this, but it does give a fabulous new point of view and twist on an old, worn story. I have been rather bored of late with the origional story, and after reading Wicked, (and of course the title of the book) I knew what the story would be covering - the side of the innocent stepsisters of Clara - Cinderella. The story is powerfully written and I felt every emotion with Iris, the main character. This is a truly wonderful story that would be a shame to pass up.
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