The Jilted Bride

A Footnote to Cinderella's Happiness

Christian - Fiction
68 Pages
Reviewed on 05/01/2016
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Author Biography

Kristen Reed, a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, is an artist, filmmaker, and author from Dallas, Texas. As a Christian, her faith heavily influences her writing and is the driving force in her life. She is the author of The Alazne Series, The Way of Escape, and The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella's Happiness.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness is a fairy tale romance novel written by Kristen Reed. Demetria has had her heart broken all too many times. As the daughter of Lord Aurelian, the Duke of Isidor, she understands her purpose in being wed to a suitable member of the aristocratic classes, but the first two suitors were not at all the men of her dreams. Prince Caspar was another story entirely, well, not entirely, as it seemed even this good-looking prince was not really showing any signs of being in love with her. Her parents had a marvelous and loving marriage, and they had not met until the day they were wed, so Demetria understood that love grows, and she had consented to be his bride. On the day of the event, Demetria anxiously expected her marriage to take place, but the events of the night before, when Caspar had danced the night away with a mysterious young woman, troubled her, even after receiving his heartfelt apologies and a gorgeous ruby necklace. When she and her parents arrived at the cathedral, she saw him waiting for her at the altar. But just as she approached him, she saw his eyes widen and a smile of delight grace his lips. He was not looking at her, but at the mysterious, if somewhat sooty, young girl at the back of the cathedral. Caspar rushed away from where Demetria was standing and ran into the other girl’s arms. The shock and shame and public humiliation would loom large in Demetria’s heart and mind for some time to come.

Kristen Reed’s fairy tale romance novel, The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness, is a charming and sweet retelling of the classic fairy tale from the perspective of a betrothed young woman who is publicly cast aside for the fairy tale heroine. As the tale progressed, I marveled at the progress Demetria made as she changed from being a compliant and submissive daughter into a mature, independent and dedicated young woman. I found myself cheering as she befriends Marianne, one of her parents’ domestics, and begins to appreciate the lives of those less privileged than herself. The friendship that follows is a thing of joy, as the two young women find common interests and forge bonds. While I realized that there would be a religious or Christian element running throughout the plot, I was thrilled to find that that sentiment expressed itself in good works and deeds more in the spirit of President Jimmy Carter than in the exhortations of a television evangelist. The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness is an inspired blend of the coming of age and fairy tale genres, and it’s grand fun to read. It’s highly recommended.

Katelyn Hensel

The Jilted Bride by Kristen Reed is kind of the Cinderella version of what Wicked did to The Wizard of Oz. They never told you that when Prince Charming met Cinderella, he left behind a broken-hearted fiancee in his wake. While he and Miss Slipper danced off into their happily ever after, Demetria is left with a hastily pulled-together replacement suitor and starts undergoing a journey that will help heal her heart and let her learn to love again.

In addition to the Cinderella threads, the story is a beautifully crafted romance in its own right. You could replace Prince Charming, etc. with regular old names and the story would still stand on its own two legs without the famous name brands. Demetria is a passionate, charming woman herself and, though she is definitely wounded by being left at the altar, it doesn't stop her personality from shining through...bright, strong, and secretly as hopeful for love and companionship as ever. I loved how her ambitions changed throughout the story so that, at first, all she wanted to do was make an advantageous marriage, and by the end she was more committed to herself and her own happiness than just marrying.

I absolutely adore fairy tale retellings, and The Jilted Bride is a very interesting tale told in the same realm as Cinderella. While I hate to think of Prince Charming as a philandering jerk, this tale is unique, original, and plays off the story we all know and love in a way that turns it upside down. Kristen Reed has a curious and witty mind that helps the banter flow between characters and lets us explore our own motivations behind Happily Ever After.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

We all know the story of Cinderella and her charming prince. But what about the other bride, the one left at the altar in favor of Cinderella’s hand? Demetria was beautiful and charming in her own right. She didn’t love Prince Caspar, Cinderella’s prince. But she was pleased by his attentions and devastated by his not-so-subtle rejection of her at the altar. Mortified, Demetria returns to her father’s lands and seeks refuge in her room until one of the maids, a Cinderella look-alike, enters her room and her life, and things take a different turn. Posing as a servant, Demetria meets a handsome groom, who is not what he claims to be. And the story becomes another happily-ever-after as Demetria does find her own charming prince.

There are so many extra characters in each of the fairy tales. Few people think beyond the main characters. Few wonder what remarkable lives these extras may have lived. Demetria was just a tiny role in the Cinderella story, but her story is just as interesting as she develops into a beautiful (inside and out), caring woman, a charming princess in her own right, and certainly much more beloved than just a prince’s jilted bride.

Author Kristen Reed’s novel, The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness, is a beautiful story about a young woman, torn apart by her lost groom, who finds a more noble purpose than becoming a nobleman’s wife. Great character development as this once demure, accepting daughter of a duke, Demetria, turns into a strong woman of purpose, a true daughter of Christ as she discovers that the mimicked Bible verses quoted at church every Sunday have a much deeper meaning. Kristen has written a very uplifting story about a character, a person, really, who was once forgotten in a fairy tale and she re-makes this character into something truly special. A great read.