Book Reviews of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Author: Gregory Maguire
ISBN-13: 9780060987527
ISBN-10: 0060987529
Publication Date: 10/3/2000
Pages: 384
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 1410

3.4 stars, based on 1410 ratings
Publisher: Regan Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

132 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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41 member(s) found this review helpful.
I postponed reading this book for two years because I kept hearing, "It's not as good as Wicked.

I'm so sorry I waited. Those who judged it on the basis of Wicked must have loved Wicked for different reasons than I. Perhaps they only like fantasy or gothic genres.

This book is a delicious historical novel set in Holland during the Reformation. It's the sort of brooding story to read on a rainy day, wrapped in a comforter in your favorite chair with a pot of tea nearby.

Rather than compare it to Wicked, I'd say that those who loved Girl with a Pearl Earring would enjoy this book.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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27 member(s) found this review helpful.
This was my first Gregory Maguire book and its prob a good thing since all the other reviews mostly compare it to Wicked. Well I enjoyed this book very much. It was really not a "can't put it down" book for me at least. There were many parts where after 20 pgs I would be bored and go do something else. But when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it and couldn't wait to finish it. I would recommend this book to anyone. I thought the story was going to be more magical and fairy tale like but it really wasn't at all. It was about a mother and her 2 daughters who fled England from the mobbing town and end up in Holland looking for their Grandfather. Once they arrive in Holland they are faced with challenges and the mother will do anything to secure her families safety. I really disliked the mother but who doesn't in the "cinderella" story. Overall good read:)
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
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20 member(s) found this review helpful.
God,this book took me forever to read.I mean forever as in about a week in a half because it was so boring. I had to force myself to read it. However,there were some very good themes in the book. For example,the beautiful Clara (Cinderella), who's ill temper caused her to be a brat but still she was a good person.Through Clara, we see that the beautiful do not always lead such charmed lives.Beauty in some cases is an affliction rather than a gift.The so-called ugly stepsisters,Iris and Ruth are ugly only in physical features but are beautiful inside. The wicked stepmother was in fact wicked. She was willing to do anything to improve her station in life,and I do mean anything. In the end, we see that beauty is only skin deep.what’s on the inside really does matters more and that desperation and bad luck will make anyone a monster.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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12 member(s) found this review helpful.
For me, Gregory Maguire is a hit or miss. Wicked took me a while to get into, but i did like it eventually. Son of a Witch? No thanks. Mirror Mirror - just okay. I really did enjoy this one, right from the start, though. While the tale of Cinderella goes way back before the one which most of us are familiar with, the most popular version sure does leave a lot explained! He did a fantastic job giving motivation and alternate explanations of the tale, without actually contradicting the version we are familiar with. It definitely was an enjoyable read, and I felt for the ugly stepsisters.
  • Currently 0.5/5 Stars.
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10 member(s) found this review helpful.
I could barely get through the first chapters when I had to put it down. I'm normally a faithful fantasy reader but I don't know...this just seemed silly to me.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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9 member(s) found this review helpful.
I love the idea of rewriting classic fairytales from the betrodden's point of view. Maguire, when at his best, has an amazing ability of turning what seems like a cut-and-dry-happily-ever-after tale into a labrynthe of intrigue, passion, and depth. He proved this to me in Wicked. I must say, I was sorely disappointed in Mirror Mirror. But after reading Confessions (and Son of Witch), I'm a believer again. I recommend this book but gave it only three stars simply because Wicked is still ten times better in my opinion.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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6 member(s) found this review helpful.
If you think you really know the story of Cinderella--think again. Gregory Maguire is brilliant in his effort to intertwine a cornerstone fairy tale with the timeless debate of what constitutes "beauty." To what extent will one go to sustain it and what can one do to survive without it?
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Excellent. No abuse, no wickedness, just peoples foibles dragging them toward the conclusion
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Gregory Maguire tells us that the story of Cinderella is not a true account - that through the passage of time, the tale has been altered beyond recognition. His main character, the 'ugly stepsister' decides to set the record straight and tell the story as she remembers it, and without the embellishments of magic and fancy.

Mr Maguire tells a wonderful tale, with believeable and enjoyable characters. 'Confessions' is often funny, occasionally sad and throughout, an engaging page turner.
I highly recommend this book to all who enjoy a good story.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Set in 17th century Holland, an unlikely heroin (Iris)finds herself swept into a Cinderella story of wealth and ambition. She becomes involved in the world of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl who is destined to become her stepsister. This makes Iris the Ugly Stepsister. A novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and uderstanding, reminding one that deception can be unearthed - and love unvelied - in the most unexpected placed. Iris' mother and sister are major players in this unexpected ending.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
This is a very well written book. Alot of hx wrote into the story in a very suttle way. I hate for it to be over
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Highly original and most creative version of Cinderella...really enjoyed reading this, on par with Wicked.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Excellant book!!! All his are really worth reading, and re-reading, etc....
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
This is a very interesting read. It tells the story of Cinderella from the point of view of one of her step-sisters. Very unique and lots of neat details. Well worth a read!
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I really enjoyed Confessions, as I have every other Gregory Maguire book that I've had the pleasure of reading. Definitely an interesting way to look at the Cinderella story. Totally recommend it.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Charming and fast-moving novel with elements of fantasy, set in 17th century Holland, by the author of Wicked.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Very enjoyable, with a nice twist. Kind of anachronistic, but its a fantasy, so why not?
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
This book was great!! The intrigue and mystery in it was wonderful as well as the portrayal of each character. I felt like I was in the story as it happened, as you read you forget all the tellings of Cinderella you have heard before. The real magic of the story is how it takes hold of you and doesn't let go until the very end.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
My favorite Maguire book (the third I've read) More like historical fiction than fantasy and it ties in very nicely with the Cinderella story we all know. I think some people are put off by some of the dialogue, and while it does make the reading tedious, the plot is strong enough that I definitely wanted to keep reading.
As a side note, the mean stepmother plays a big role in this book. It would be interesting to read the same tale, but instead seen through her eyes and titled "How it really happened, the wicked stepmother's perspective."
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Fantastic story! I never imagined I could find myself feeling sympathy for the Stepsisters in the story of Cinderella. I trully could not put this book down.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kind of spooky.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
And I thought Wicked was a crazy book. Never-the-less I enjoyed reading this book and seeing how it compared to Cinderella. This book is fantasy but not a fairytale. It's about love in the strangest of places. Expect the unexpected.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I loved it! I'm a big history nerd, so this new take on historical fiction served me well. Even though I loved the musical, I heard bad reviews of the book Wicked. I decided to try this novel instead. Not only was there a SURPRISE ENDING (that I wish was more developed), but it is definitely a family-friendly read. I would have no qualms with a younger crowd reading this book.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I really enjoyed it. Actually I liked it more than "Wicked". I found that (unlike "Wicked) there were characters that I genuinely cared about throughout the book. And the end was a clever little turn.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
If you are expecting the smart and sharp look into a classic that Wicked was...don't read this. I found here that Maguire was struggling to capture the success of Wicked, and while this book is a good read, it can not compare.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Well, was a little worried at first. Disappointed maybe?
As the first three chapters came to a close, I kept finding myself having to re-read them, as they dragged and seemed very hard to follow, or keep interest in.

But from that point forward, I was hooked. Not my usual read, that is for sure, but I couldn't put it down and read entire thing in two evenings. =)
So much did I like the way it read as a whole, I have since ordered all but one of this author's books.

Overall a very good read. Thumbs up!
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Having been completely disappointed by Maguire's WICKED, I wasn't sure if I was ready for this book. It's reviews weren't that great. I have to say that I did enjoy it. The plot was not as convoluted as in WICKED and the characters easier to relate to. It was really quite a spin on the fairy tale. It wasn't a glued to the pages book but it was an enjoyable read.
  • Currently 1.5/5 Stars.
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I just couldn't get into this book. It was boring. Yes it tells a different story of Cinderella but i didn't find it very exciting to read. In fact, i considered not finishing it when i got to the middle and the story didn't seem to pick up; nonetheless i trudged through and the only satisfaction i got out of it was that i had made it to the end.
and for the record, i loved wicked and son of a witch but i didn't compare this to them. its merely boring in itself.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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Liked this better than Wicked, but...umm. If you read this rather scientifically, for lack of better word, then this was a great book that takes the question, "would you rather be beautiful but morally corrupt, or ugly but honest?" and wraps it around the all-familiar tale of Cinderella. Great. HOWEVER, Maguire loses me when he diverges into the whole imps, ghosties, ghoulies, blah blah blah crap. IT's like he feels obligated to add in the fantastic creatures because he's (re)writing fantasy. Doesn't work.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
So far this is my favorite of Maguire's books, followed closely by "Wicked". Set in Holland with the Tulip Mania this book is from the point of view of a plain girl with a half-wit sister who ends up with a beautiful stepsister. I found the information about painting, how art is a commercial product and art's significant impact in the merchant systems to be very interesting and well woven into the story. The last chapter had an excellent twist/spin . . . that trumped this book over Wicked.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Story with realistic details of a mother and two daughters that begin a new life in Holland during the time period of Rembrandt and Vermeer. This is the story that over the years following the end of the book evolves into the version of Cinderella we know today. The characters have depth and scenes are described so that I could easily get a picture in my mind. Overall, I enjoyed the book and plan to read Wicked.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
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I had a hard time getting into this book and almost put it down once or twice. This is the first book I've read of Gregory Maguire's. I ordered Wicked also and this one happened to arrive faster, so I read it first. After seeing the musical "Wicked" and hearing all about the book, I felt like I was let down when I read this book. I don't know what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. I felt like it was hard to follow. You do start feeling sorry for the stepsisters, but I really started getting mad at "Cinderella".
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
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I really did not enjoy this book. I like the concept but I found the story tedious and the language awkward.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I liked this "Cinderella" tale, better than I liked "Wicked." I found this to be a very enjoyable book.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
We all know Cinderella's side of the story, but what about her stepsisters? Living with a beautiful, wealthy girl isn't easy, and some details may have been "accidentally omitted" in the original telling of the story. This book provides "another perspective" to the classic tale. It is a much easier read than "Wicked" (also by Maguire), in my opinion.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Great book. Enjoyed the way he interpreted Cinderella.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Gregory Maguire's chilling, wonderful retelling of Cinderella is a study in contrasts. Love and hate, beauty and ugliness, cruelty and charity--each idea is stripped of its ethical trappings, smashed up against its opposite number, and laid bare for our examination. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister begins in 17th-century Holland, where the two Fisher sisters and their mother have fled to escape a hostile England. Maguire's characters are at once more human and more fanciful than their fairy-tale originals. Plain but smart Iris and her sister, Ruth, a hulking simpleton, are dazed and terrified as their mother, Margarethe, urges them into the strange Dutch streets. Within days, purposeful Margarethe has secured the family a place in the home of an aspiring painter, where for a short time, they find happiness.

But this is Cinderella, after all, and tragedy is inevitable. When a wealthy tulip speculator commissions the painter to capture his blindingly lovely daughter, Clara, on canvas, Margarethe jumps at the chance to better their lot. "Give me room to cast my eel spear, and let follow what may," she crows, and the Fisher family abandons the artist for the upper-crust Van den Meers.

When Van den Meer's wife dies during childbirth, the stage is set for Margarethe to take over the household and for Clara to adopt the role of "Cinderling" in order to survive. What follows is a changeling adventure, and of course a ball, a handsome prince, a lost slipper, and what might even be a fairy godmother. In a single magic night, the exquisite and the ugly swirl around in a heated mix:

Everything about this moment hovers, trembles, all their sweet, unreasonable hopes on view before anything has had the chance to go wrong. A stepsister spins on black and white tiles, in glass slippers and a gold gown, and two stepsisters watch with unrelieved admiration. The light pours in, strengthening in its golden hue as the sun sinks and the evening approaches. Clara is as otherworldly as the Donkeywoman, the Girl-Boy. Extreme beauty is an affliction...

But beyond these familiar elements, Maguire's second novel becomes something else altogether--a morality play, a psychological study, a feminist manifesto, or perhaps a plain explanation of what it is to be human. Villains turn out to be heroes, and heroes disappoint. The story's narrator wryly observes, "In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings. When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats." --Therese Littleton --Amazon.com.

The inspired concept of Maguire's praised debut, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, was not a fluke. Here he presents an equally beguiling reconstruction of the Cinderella story, set in the 17th century, in which the protagonist is not the beautiful princess-to-be but her plain stepsister. Iris Fisher is an intelligent young woman struggling with poverty and plain looks. She, her mother, Margarethe, and her retarded sister, Ruth, flee their English country village in the wake of her father's violent death, hoping to find welcome in Margarethe's native Holland. But the practical Dutch are fighting the plague and have no sympathy for the needy family. Finally, a portrait painter agrees to hire them as servants, specifying that Iris will be his model. Iris is heartbroken the first time she sees her likeness on canvas, but she begins to understand the function of art. She gains a wider vision of the world when a wealthy merchant named van den Meer becomes the artist's patron, and employs the Fishers to deal with his demanding wife and beautiful but difficult daughter, Clara. Margarethe eventually marries van den Meer, making Clara Iris's stepsister. As her family's hardships ease, Iris begins to long for things inappropriate for a homely girl of her station, like love and beautiful objects. She finds solace and identity as she begins to study painting. Maguire's sophisticated storytelling refreshingly reimagines age-old themes and folklore-familiar characters. Shrewd, pushy, desperate Margarethe is one of his best creations, while his prose is an inventive blend of historically accurate but zesty dialogue and lyrical passages about saving power of art. The narrative is both "magical," as in fairy tales, and anchored in the reality of the 17th century, an astute balance of the ideal and sordid sides of human nature in a vision that fantasy lovers will find hard to resist. --Publishers Weekly
  • Currently 1.5/5 Stars.
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I just could not get into this book. Different twist on an old fairy tale.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
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This was my favorite of the Maguire books. It was the most entertaining to me and you could actually feel for the main character.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Engrossing historical fiction. For fans of Maguire's work, this can't be beat.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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A unique twist on the Cinderella tale. Another great Gregory Maguire story!
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
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Didn't care for this one by Maguire. Much preferred Wicked.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Much better than Wicked!
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
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I enjoyed "Wicked" very much, but have not enjoyed any of Maguire's other novels quite as much.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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Another great read from Maguire! Excellent job with characters and plot and twisting the traditional tale just enough, but not so much that it breaks.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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The "real" story of Cinderella and her ugly stepsisters.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Really liked this book! Better than Wicked, in my opinion.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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If you've enjoyed the book Wicked then you'll most likely enjoy this as well. We've all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled to ordinary by the fame of their lovely step sibling? A novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthesd and love unveiled in the most unexpected of places.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I really enjoyed this book alot and the ending was great!
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
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Did not enjoy this as much as author's other books, which were fantastic.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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An entertaining story. I felt that "Wicked" was a better read, but this was still a page turner for me.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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An alternate look at a classic fairy tale!
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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I loved this book, gregory maguire is a great author.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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Retelling of Cinderella sans stepsisters. Really entertaining. Didn't see the ending coming!
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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This is a great story
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I loved this book. I have read so many bad reviews and just don't understand how so many people can't see past their noses. I honestly think one should be open to the other side of this story. It's a book that I don't really want to post and give up right away myself. I may read it again. What is the true beauty in life anyway?
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a retelling of the Cinderella story which takes place in 17th Century Holland. While it retains a lot of similarity to the original story, at least more so than some of the other Cinderella stories we've read so far, most of the "magical" and otherworldly events have been given more real-world characteristics.

Of course, there's a whole back-story to this tale too, with the Master and his paintings, and an attraction between Iris and the Master's apprentice, that adds a lot to the traditional story. And I really thought it went a long way towards enhancing the story too, making everyone and everything seem more "real" and less like a fairy tale. On reading this story, one could easily imagine that everything could very well have happened as was told here. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn't yet read it, whether they're Cinderella fans or not.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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This was a fun read but not necessarily an easy read. This was not a book I could read in a day. Enjoyable though.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I love the different perspectives he takes with the 'sideline' characters in classic tales! It does seem to move along slow but the characters develop and you get caught up in how they then became the character most see them in!
Awesome Read!!!
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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Good read!
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Yes I did enjoy this book as I do all of Gregory Maguire's books.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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This was a good read. Certainly a different twist on the Cinderella story!
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I also prefer this book over Wicked. I dont dislike Wicked. I love it too in fact. I just really loved this one. The story was so vivid in my mind as I read it. It was terrifically worded. This book made me feel like I should read everything Maguire wrote. It is enchanting.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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Cinderella as told from the perspective of the step-family. The character development wasn't what I had hoped it would be. But the art and Dutch/Calvinist history was an interesting twist. Once the characters started to mature and the story started rolling, I really enjoyed the progression. I felt like maguire got sick of the back story (flashbacks) and thus did a poor job resolving them. But I really liked the change to the story and the different kind of happily ever after.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I absolutely love all of Gregory Maguire's books, including this one
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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I'd been meaning to read any of Maguire's books for a few years and finally started with this one. I'd heard nothing but praise for his writing, but I was disappointed with this. It is actually a decent book, just not worth all the hype. The story is unique, interesting, and well-crafted, but bleak and more sad than amusing. I think I would have enjoyed it better had I different expectations of it altogether (I guess I expected it to be a bit funny, no help from the cover). However, Maguire effectively portrays the stepsisters as lovely in their own way and inspires more affection for them than this version of Cinderella. *Spoiler* And I'm glad that at least Iris found love!
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Out all of Maguire books I liked this one the best. It had such a twisted ending it actually made the story more real to me.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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I completely loved it! If you enjoyed "Wicked", love fairy tales and still want to learn a little history along the way, this book is for you!
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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A creative and interesting take on the classic tale. I didn't see the twists coming.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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A very interesting and different version of Cinderella. I loved it!.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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Not as good as "Wicked", but still an interesting twist on a classic fairy tale. Inventive characters, believable situations, but a bit of a slow read.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Wonderful, engaging, rich tale that sweeps you up and away into a complex, very human, and very potent world. Highly recommended!
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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It is a superb book to read. The view from Cinderella step-sisters is enlightening.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Interesting take on the "Cinderella" fairytale.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 33 more book reviews
This was a pretty good book. Like a few others here, it was my first Maguire book, and I'm glad. (If I had read Wicked first I NEVER would have read this book, but that's for another review). I really liked the characters in this book. I loved the narrator and how tough she was in dealing with her hard life. I also like that although Cinderella was bratty, she wasn't portrayed as the enemy (which often happens when fairy tales are turned around, the bad guys are good and the good guys are bad).

It was a solid plot also. The story really was turned into a fairy tale for grownups. The twist Maguire put on Cinderella here was very cool.

It takes a bit to get used to the thick language, but it's definitely not a hard read. It's not amazing, but it's good. Confessions is definitely worth a try!
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on
I love Maguire's remakes of classics. Amazing twists and new (adult) ways of thinking about children's tales. Fantastic.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on
This was the first of Gregory Maguire's books that I read. The story of Cinderella from the "ugly" stepsister's point of view gives a new perspective on the fairy tale. The ups and downs of the tulip-driven economy in Holland give the story depth.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 72 more book reviews
Another unusual tale from 'Wicked' Gregory Maguire, 'Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister' was a book I enjoyed very much. The premise is, of course, the classic Cinderella story, but Maguire's version of the tale takes more from the themes of beauty, ugliness, society, and even sexuality than merely reworking an already tired story. Set in the Dutch 17th century, the book paints a subtle, poignant picture of a woman coming to a new land looking to make a solid life for her two plain daughters. In the process her daughters get caught up in a life of art, money, and arguments over the true nature of beauty and hideousness. Supernatural beliefs in imps and the like are thrown in as well, creating a richly golden mood of dramatic fantasy. If you like any of Maguire's other writings, you'll like this, too; if you have yet to taste Maguire's distinct offerings, this is a great start.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 32 more book reviews
Fun, quick read. I enjoyed "Confessions" and "Wicked" and will definitely read more of his books.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 30 more book reviews
This is by far my favorite of Maguire's books so far. The others are bit too fanciful for me. Though good, they are sooooo unbelievable that I can't really get into them. This one almost reads like a historical novel. It could have happened and that makes the characters so much more believable and the story more enthralling because you want to know what happens to them becasuse they seem real.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 46 more book reviews
This was my least favorite of the Maguire books. None of the characters were particularly sympathetic, and I finished it more from curiosity than because it sparked anything for me. Not on par with Wicked, for sure.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 10 more book reviews
This is my first reading of a Gregory Maguire story. He effortlessly incorporates the familiar story lines of "CINDERELLA" that many of us grew up with. He provides a fleshing out of the barebones story by adding details and characters to the story. The characters are presented in such a way as to almost be real and able to leap from the page.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on
awesome
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on
Honestly, I found this to be a MUCH better read then Wicked. Its a beautiful story of love and sister hood that turns the Cinderella tale up on it's head. The first person narrative (which I usually don't care for) is effective in both telling the story, and allowing the reader to identify personally with the story teller.

This book is for everyone who has ever gotten the short end of the stick, a book to read again and again.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 16 more book reviews
Had a hard time getting through the language but the story was great.Last 100 pgs were the best.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 17 more book reviews
Very good
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 30 more book reviews
Fun book - not as good as Wicked though, in my opinion.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 35 more book reviews
Somewhat entertaining. I didn't fully get into it, but finished it in a few hours. Quick read, but I'm not very impressed. It doesn't make me want to read any others.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 15 more book reviews
Definitely not as good as "Wicked", but worth reading if you enjoyed that book.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 77 more book reviews
Better than expected. Great twist on an old classic.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 4 more book reviews
This is every bit as good as Wicked.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on
I loved this book. Although the characters were not as engaging as Wicked, he has a way of brining you in to their world that truly captures you.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 67 more book reviews
I loved Confessions so much. It's a fresh and new way to look at the Cinderella tale.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on
Good book
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 62 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this story, even more than 'Wicked'. It was easier to read, less unexplained lingo. Quite a different viewpoint on the whole Cinderella story!
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 118 more book reviews
i thought this was really good, tho not as good as wicked. i enjoyed the different take on the cinderella story, and the little twists at the end. this was an enjoyable read, it sucked me in early and held my attention to the last line.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 9 more book reviews
easy read
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 14 more book reviews
I liked the book, but it is slow moving in the beginning.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 247 more book reviews
In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats....
We all have heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty . . . and what curses accompanied Cinderella's exquisite looks?
Extreme beauty is an affliction
Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.
Clara was the prettiest child, but was her life the prettiest tale?
While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, burning all memories of her past, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household--and the treacherous truth of her former life.

ok story
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 12 more book reviews
very good read
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 65 more book reviews
This was intersting and worthwhile, but not something I think I want to read again. It's not as good as Wicked, but still worth the read.
  • Currently 0.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 34 more book reviews
This book was just bad. I didn't even make it to page 200.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on
I loved it! The ending was crazy!
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 22 more book reviews
I enjoyed this very much. It's kind of nice to have an adult spin on fairy tales.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 10 more book reviews
i have yet to read this book, it's in my LONG list, though
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 9 more book reviews
quirky twist on cinderella
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 9 more book reviews
Didn't finish this, but from what I read, it was good.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 7 more book reviews
It was a unique take on the Cinderella story, especially if you find Holland and tulips interesting.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 14 more book reviews
Great Book
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 38 more book reviews
This was actually so far my favorite of Maguires
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 12 more book reviews
Great re-imagining of the Cinderella story from the pov of the stepsister. Don't expect the story to be as you remember it.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 44 more book reviews
An arresting hybrid of mystery, fairy talke, and historical novel.
  • Currently 1/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 34 more book reviews
I thought much better than Wicked. I don't really like his style so I doubt I'll read any more of his books.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 3 more book reviews
In line with Maguire's other work, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is dark and mysterious, complete with morbid twists and a new (realistic but perhaps not as charming) take on a familiar story.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 38 more book reviews
We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty...and what curses accompanied Cinderella's looks?

Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to becomeme her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth. Iris seeks our the shadowy secrets of her new household-and the treacherous truth of her former life.

Far more than a mere fairy tale, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed-and love unveiled-in the most unexpected of places.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 37 more book reviews
Maguire re-imagines the Cinderella fairy tale.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 17 more book reviews
By the author of "Wicked", a re-telling of the Cinderella story.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 139 more book reviews
A very dark take on Cinderella, with tulip mania thrown in.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 36 more book reviews
not my speed...I can't get into it
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 7 more book reviews
This book was not as good as "Wicked." I found I had a difficult time keeping my attention on what I was reading. If it wasn't for the fact that I had to read it for a bookclub, I would have put it down a long time ago. I think some of the "dirty" language in the book was unnecessary and was stated for shock effect. Although Mr. Maguire does a good job at describing his characters in such a descriptive way as to allow me to really "see" them in my mind, I wish the story was more interesting.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 38 more book reviews
an interesting look at how we value "looks" in our society, or maybe all societies.
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 5 more book reviews
The movie was actually better than the book for once (made for tv 2 years ago). I thought this was the worst retelling of Cinderella I had ever read. This is one case where the book shouldn't be told from a child's perspective. You're left not understanding most of what is happening, the way a child doesn't. I almost stopped reading it several times, as it was rather dull and the author didn't explain enough. I'm not a stupid person (1390 on my SAT, perfect on my GRE), so I can't imagine how the average reader would do with this book. I finally finished the book several weeks later, and the ending was not worth it. I tried a couple other books by the author, since I usually LOVE fairy tale retellings (Robin McKinley is sooo good!), but everything he writes feels like a dead fish to me. Just blah and kinda repulsive.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 25 more book reviews
A good read. All of the hyoe was overblown, IMO. But it is definately worth spending a credit on.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 10 more book reviews
A fabulous read! Gregory Maguire writes another masterpiece. I love how he is able to take long-held assumptions and turn them completely around. Really makes you think.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 3 more book reviews
Good read. I haven't read Wicked yet, but this one qas better that mirror mirror
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on
I really enjoyed this story; there are surprises at the end I didn't expect at all. It's well written and reads very quickly. It's not as dry as "Wicked," and flows much better, although "Wicked" was a more complex story.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 39 more book reviews
If you liked Girl with a Pearl Earring, you will like this book too! Great period descriptions of Holland and the occupation of Painting. Also great twist on the Cinderella story.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 26 more book reviews
Slow moving but a nice twist.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 210 more book reviews
If not for the rather surprising ending, this would be a rather mediocre read.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I loved this book! It really got my attention since it was a new twist on Cinderella And it took place in Holland during the tulip craze-I'm Dutch.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 413 more book reviews
A fairy tale re-told as historical fiction set in 17th century Holland, it gives one possible story behind the Cinderalla tale. Enjoyable though a bit draggy in spots.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister on + 20 more book reviews
Love this twist on an old favorite!