Rose Daughter Library Binding – Aug 11 2008
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|Library Binding, Aug 11 2008||
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up. Gertrude Stein's famous quote, "Rose is a rose is a rose...," is dispelled by McKinley in her second novelization of the tale "Beauty and the Beast." (Beauty was her first novel, published 20 years ago.) Both books have the same plot and elements; what is different is the complexity of matured writing and the patina of emotional experience. Here, she has embellished and embodied the whys, whos, and hows of the magic forces at work. The telling is layered like rose petals with subtleties, sensory descriptions, and shadow imagery. Every detail holds significance, including the character names: her sisters, Jeweltongue and Lionheart; the villagers, Miss Trueword, Mrs. Bestcloth, and Mrs. Words-Without-End. Mannerisms of language and intricacies of writing style are key in this exposition. The convoluted sentences often ramble like a rose and occasionally prick at the smoothness of the pace. Word choices such as feculence, sororal sedition, numen, ensorcell, and simulacrum will command readers' attention. McKinley is at home in a world where magic is a mainstay and, with her passion for roses, she's grafted a fully dimensional espalier that is a tangled, thorny web of love, loyalty, and storytelling sorcery. Fullest appreciation of Rose Daughter may be at an adult level.?Julie Cummins, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 6^-12. Almost 20 years after her well-received, award-winning Beauty (1978), McKinley reexplores and reexpands on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. This is not a sequel, but a new novelization that is fuller bodied, with richer characterizations and a more mystical, darker edge. Although the Library of Congress catalogs it in the 398s, the book really belongs on the fiction shelves alongside Beauty. The familiar plot is here, but the slant is quite different, though Beauty's sisters are once again loving rather than hostile as in de Beaumont's original version. A few scenes are reminiscent of Beauty. For example, in the dining room scenes in the castle, Beauty eats but the Beast merely is present: "I am a Beast; I cannot eat like a man." In Rose Daughter, Beauty has an affinity for flower gardening, particularly roses, because of her memories of her deceased mother; it is a talent that serves her in good stead as she nurtures the Beast's dying rose garden. Also, in some nicely done foreshadowing, Beauty suffers from recurring dreams of a long, dark corridor and something--a monster?--waiting for her at the end. Rose Cottage, where Beauty and her family settle after the father's financial downfall, and the nearby town and its residents, as well as the opulence of the Beast's castle and the devastation of his rose garden, are vividly depicted. Among the fantasy elements are a prescient cat, the spirit of the greenwitch who willed Rose Cottage to Beauty's family, unicorns, and preternatural Guardians. There is more background on the Beast in this version, allowing readers to see how he came to be bewitched, and Beauty's choice at the end, a departure from that in Beauty, is just so right. Readers will be enchanted, in the best sense of the word. Sally Estes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In Rose Daughter, it felt as though Beauty did not feel much of anything. I was surprised, to say the least, of her lack of emotion at being taken away from her family and imprisoned in the Beast's castle. I was expecting at least some emotional outburst, but Beauty's character remained pretty flat, aside from the odd recollection of her sisters.Read more ›
Beauty's mother died when she was only a tiny child, leaving her with only the memory of roses. Because magicians failed to predict her mother's death in a riding accident, her father turned against magic completely, even though it ruined his business. Then one of his ships turns up again. When the father asks his daughters what they want, Beauty only asks for a rose.
But that rose comes with a price -- her father takes it from the garden of a strange Beast, who demands that Beauty be sent to his palace. Beauty goes voluntarily, if reluctantly. But she finds that the Beast is actually peaceful and gentle, and asks her to marry him regularly. So, of course, Beauty must unravel the curse that keeps him a Beast.
Robin McKinley started her career with "Beauty," a version of "Beauty and the Beast" that let us see Beauty not as a vapid victim, but as a strong, intelligent young woman. The problem with "Rose Daughter" is simple: It runs along a lot of the same story tracks, and adds nothing except a few pretty turns of phrase and some peculiar subplots that lead nowhere.
Her writing is truly exquisite -- McKinley definitely has a way with descriptions and evocation. "Rose Daughter" is verbally lush as few fantasy books successfully are. If there had been a plot to go with it, then this might have been a worthy classic.Read more ›
Another thing is the way this book was written. It was too...flowery for my tastes. There were constant metaphors, and so many adjectives it was really hard to understand. I could read five paragraphs and suddenly realize they were still describing a character. It was confusing, dull, and overly-dramatic. It seemed like plot elements were thrown in just for aesthetics. Like the Beast, painting with his teeth?! I understand the goal of that, Robin wanted us to know that the Beast was a deep and sensitive person, but the Beast had no personality (at least no more than the other characters) and therefore I didn't care about him.
The one thing I liked about this book was the castle. I loved the eerie quality it was given, the constant silence and bizarre change of weather. I think that was what kept me reading. I made it halfway and finally just dropped it. It's laying on my shelf now, collecting skin tissue. Oh well. I gave it a shot.
Most recent customer reviews
I have now read both "Beauty" and "Rose Daughter" and have to say that I think an ideal retelling of the faiy-tale would actually be a mix of both books. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2006 by K. Daley
Okay I will admit that she wrote this story very well. I have read many books and I know a good writer when I read their books. Read morePublished on April 9 2006
This was an amazing book of great literary merit. While it was not a book with much action it was wonderfully inspirational and leaves the reader with a sense of otherworldliness. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by Anna
I don't quite understand why everyone is giving this good book a bad review. I loved it...the names were a little weird, as someone commented, but what do names really matter. Read morePublished on June 23 2004
I wanted to read this book since it was by McKinley and I had read BEAUTY (which I loved and love to reread over and over). Read morePublished on May 30 2004 by Rachel
I absolutely adored Beauty, McKinley's first novel. Rose Daughter? No. Not. At. All. Whereas Beauty had a spunky heroine, full of doubts, ideas, and heart, *this* Beauty has no... Read morePublished on March 17 2004
Twenty years ago, she wrote "Beauty", a wonderful retelling of the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast". Now she comes back to the same theme with a fresh perspective. Read morePublished on March 8 2004 by Anna Stanford
I have always considered myself a fastasy freak. I've read over a hundred version of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, etc. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004