This is one of my favorite "comfort reads." I don't know if this re-telling of Beauty and the Beast is supposed to be Young Adult or not, (I am 31.)... all I know is that there's something special about the journey I take with Beauty when I sit down and read Robin McKinley's version of her story.
I always fall in love with Beauty, her family, and the world they live in â" right from the beginning of the story. I love meeting Beauty's sisters, Hope and Grace. I love hearing Beauty tell how she ended up being nicknamed Beauty, instead of using her given name, Honourâ¦ even though she was a bookworm who had not inherited the same tall, willowy beauty that her sisters have. I become one of the family with them, sharing their grief as Grace's fiancÃÆ'ÃÂ© is lost to the sea, sharing their despair as their father's fortune is lost as well, and sharing their determination to be happy in their new poorer life in the far magic-tainted North with Hope's new husband.
And then the magic roses start to grow along the wall of the house nearest the forest, and their father gets lost in a storm and comes home with a hopeless story and a single perfect roseâ¦
Beauty's time in the castle with the Beast is an ever-changing exploration of a realm she didn't know existed, and Robin McKinley's gentle portrayal of it is exquisitely fascinating. I love how Beauty's days in the castle with the Beast rarely changeâ¦ yet the story keeps evolving in a way that draws me ever further into it, so that I am learning, along with Beauty, to allow my heart to trustâ¦ to see the colors that flavor that fourth dimension that the castle seems to haveâ¦ to hear the voices in the Breeze that acts as Beauty's maidâ¦ to listen as those voices chat about the mysterious tragedy of the castleâ¦ to learn that the Beast is not what he seems. By the time Beauty understands the mystery, my sight and hearing are clearer along with hers, and I am pleased to read that she finally knows her heart. I am never surprised that as her heart and mind have grown, so has her body and her spirit. How satisfying it is to see that both of her names now fit her so accurately! For she is both Honour, and Beauty now.
This truly is a beautiful story, beautifully told.
I had this book one summer I worked at a campground. When I was finished my roommate picked it up. As she was still finishing it, another roommate started it. Then someone else, and someone else ... I got the book back three months later with a long line of people asking to borrow it next. While it seemed that more girls liked it than guys, the age range of people loving it was from sixteen to 50+. I have all the Robin McKinley books I can find, and this is one of the best.
This is a beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. McKinley puts her own special twist to the story. Lovely book.
I have always had a soft spot for fairy tales, and this is one of the re-tellings that has earned a place on my keeper shelf. Even after 10+ readings, the familiar story still puts a smile on my face. McKinley does an excellent job of world-building and gives it just enough extra spin and detail to leave her own unique mark on a beloved tale.
This is my favorite retelling of the Beauty and the Beast and one of my favorite books. This is Robin's first book and she wrote this before everyone else started rewriting fairy tales. This book has a charm I find delicious as Beauty's heart thaws towards the Beast! My other favorite of Robin's is "The Blue Sword". I do not care much for her other works.