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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Dismantling Cinderella by Tamsen Grace is a compilation of poetry that initially takes the traditional telling of the well known fairy tale and turns it on its head. “I think the fairy Godmother should have turned that Prince back into a frog, or his head into a pumpkin… for not seeing, that a girl with ashes on her face, is much better than a fantasy, that just disappears at midnight.” Following the titular poem, Tamsen Grace then continues with verses that highlight the strength, beauty, and intrinsic attributes of the female sex – both young and old – with powerful prose; prose which brings to the forefront all that embodies what it means to be a woman, by a woman.
Dismantling Cinderella was just added to the list of books I want my teen daughter to read. I want my husband to read it. I want everyone I know to read it. I've always held the opinion that women do not need to have men to be their saviors. What women need is to stop being reduced to positions by men that make the female sex appear to need saving. Tamsen Grace is a powerhouse in both her message and the way she delivers it, often lyrical and rhythmic but with a teasing of free form. My favorite poem in this book is Masquerade: “My mask has fused to my soul, I can't take it off. Love does have limits, but pain is limitless.” Every single one of Tamsen Grace's poems spoke to me in different ways, and I expect all who read Dismantling Cinderella will find themselves feeling the same.