Monday Mini (2)

It's Monday morning, the alarm clock just went off and everything is rush rush rush to get ready for the work week. Unfortunately there's limited time for book talk, and even less for blogging, but we still MUST share some book thoughts before we dive into the day. A Monday Mini is a quick little review typed with one hand, while coffee is made, makeup is applied and car keys are found with the other. Have a great Monday morning!

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Published August 1st 2005 by Eos (first published 1978)

More at: Goodreads

From Goodreads: This much-loved retelling of the classic French tale Beauty and the Beast elicits the familiar magical charm, but is more believable and complex than the traditional story. In this version, Beauty is not as beautiful as her older sisters, who are both lovely and kind. Here, in fact, Beauty has no confidence in her appearance but takes pride in her own intelligence, her love of learning and books, and her talent in riding. She is the most competent of the three sisters, which proves essential when they are forced to retire to the country because of their father's financial ruin.
The plot follows that of the renowned legend: Beauty selflessly agrees to inhabit the Beast's castle to spare her father's life. Beauty's gradual acceptance of the Beast and the couple's deepening trust and affection are amplified in novel form. Robin McKinley's writing has the flavor of another century, and Beauty heightens the authenticity as a reliable and competent narrator.

This is and has always been one of my favorite fairytales. McKinley's retelling completely captured the magic and wonder of the original story whilst gifting it with a rather real world air that makes it nearly impossible to not get thoroughly lost in the story.

McKinley's Beauty lacks the good looks that our classic heroine possessed. Instead her selflessness, kindness and intelligence make for an inwardly beautiful leading lady that's a bit easier to relate to than the usual run of the mill "breathtaking" beauty. Her character is such that all but Beauty are able to see how very lovely she really is. At her insistence, she agrees to enter the Beast's enchanted house in exchange for her father's life and once there befriends and falls in love with the one person to whom she has ever felt truly beautiful.

The castle and it's servants are charming and endearing as they welcome and care for Beauty who is understandably both terrified and homesick. I want invisible people to pick out my clothes and bring me breakfast :( Beauty is able to catch bits and pieces of their conversations and begins to understand that something really devastating will happen if she chooses to leave.

Bonus: The Beast possesses a great library filled with books that aren't yet written. THAT right there is enough reason to read this book if falling in love with a fairytale all over again isn't.

4 thoughts?:

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read October 25, 2010 at 9:28 AM  

Great review! Beauty and the Beast is also my favourite fairy-tale and I simply had to read this re-telling now. It seems to be great, the Beast has a library (haha) and the cover looks so pretty.

pirate penguin October 25, 2010 at 1:01 PM  

I would love to have invisible servants bring me breakfast too...but I'd be worried that some mischivious servant boy would watch me as I undressed or something, lol.

I haven't read anything by Robin McKinley but now I know where to start! Great review. :D

Literature for Lunch October 25, 2010 at 7:29 PM  

This sounds wonderful! I absolutely love fairy tale retellings when they are done well. It sounds like this one is. Thanks for the great recommendation!

Chachic November 24, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

Oh I'm so glad to discover your review. Beauty is my favorite retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I love Robin McKinley, she writes such lovely stories. She actually has another Beauty and the Beast retelling called Rose Daughter. I'm glad you mentioned the Beast's library in your review, it's one of the things that I like in the book. :)

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