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Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers' Favorite
A Gathering of Tales by Hermione Lee is a retelling of four classic fairy tales. The book merges the stories of Rapunzel, Lavina (Little Red Riding Hood), Cecily (Cinderella), and Princess Sylvia (Sleeping Beauty). Rapunzel escapes the tower after she has had enough abuse from her captor, Dame Gothel, Lavina is being pursued by the wolf that ate her grandmother, and Cecily escapes the clutches of her evil stepmother and stepsisters. The three women meet in the forest and wake Sylvia from her sleep. They bond and form an unbreakable sisterhood, but cannot find their way out of the enchanted forest, which acts like a labyrinth that will not let them go. Will they get to safety, and will they ever have a happily ever after? Get a copy of this book to find out.
A Gathering of Tales is a heartwarming story that showcases the power of friendship, reading, knowledge, and self-discovery. The main characters heal from their trauma, learn to use their strengths, and become independent. I loved their banter, individuality, and the contrast and similarities in their upbringings and families, which helped them form bonds and an everlasting sisterhood. Hermione Lee is a creative writer who uses intrigue and suspense to grab your attention and keep you glued to the story. I could not tell where the story was going, but I was enjoying the ride. Each chapter brought a new conundrum and entertaining twist. The book tackles social issues like child abuse, abduction, depression, suicide, and physical and mental trauma. I loved these new reimagined versions of these classic tales because thewomen become heroes in their own stories, and they fight for their survival and freedom. I highly recommend this book and hope more people read this wonderful story.