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Reviewed by Doreen Chombu for Readers' Favorite
Princess Harriet grew up in Wonderland. It is all she has ever known, and she loves everything about it. From the poker-themed castle to the magical gardens and friendly creatures, Wonderland is her perfect home, but all this changes when she loses her parents, the king and queen. Princess Harriet marries a stranger, Harrison Black, to become queen and him to become king and they begin to preside over her people. She discovers that her beautiful Wonderland is full of aristocrats and people who are manipulative, power-hungry, and greedy. Her only delight is the love she and Harrison share. Unfortunately, her love and heart may not be prepared for the turmoil awaiting her. Get a copy of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland by Hermione Lee to follow Harriet on her turbulent journey to become Queen of Wonderland.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland surprised me and left me in awe. The story is a gut-wrenching fairy tale that took me on a roller coaster of emotions. Hermione Lee puts readers in the main character's shoes and makes them feel her grief, joy, pain, and hopelessness. Harriet has no control over her life and wishes to do right by her people, but all her efforts seem futile. The injustice, losses, and betrayals she faces lead to her gradual evolution into someone she never thought she would be. The book is one of the easiest I have ever read, and this is because the author uses simple words and maintains a smooth flow from start to finish. The story is well-written and unpredictable. Each chapter built on the next, and the author added intrigue and suspense in equal measure to the plot. I could not put it down because I did not want to miss anything, and the ending was shocking and sinister but also satisfying. I enjoyed reading this book and hope to read more from the author.