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By Gregory Maguire

Is this new land a spot the place magics particularly happen?

From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed writer of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated moment novel, a super and provocative retelling of the undying Cinderella tale.

In the lives of youngsters, pumpkins can become coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... after we develop up, we study that it's way more universal for humans to show into rats....

We all have heard the tale of Cinderella, the gorgeous baby forged out to slave one of the ashes.But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy through the celebrity in their attractive sibling? What destiny took place these untouched through attractiveness . . . and what curses followed Cinderella's beautiful looks?

Extreme good looks is an affliction

Set opposed to the wealthy backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an unpleasant Stepsister tells the tale of Iris, an not going heroine who reveals herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a wierd global of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's direction speedy turns into intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally appealing lady destined to develop into her sister.

Clara was once the prettiest baby, yet used to be her existence the prettiest tale?

While Clara retreats to the cinders of the relatives fireplace, burning all stories of her prior, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets and techniques of her new household--and the treacherous fact of her former life.

God and devil snarling at one another like dogs.... Imps and fairy godmotbers attempting to undo every one other's paintings. How we strive to pin the realm among contrary extremes!

Far greater than a trifling fairy-tale, Confessions of an unsightly Stepsister is a singular of good looks and betrayal, phantasm and realizing, reminding us that deception will be unearthed--and love unveiled--in the main unforeseen of places.

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Caspar pivots heavy panels from their careful angles, drying here, there; he finds the one he is looking for, and pushes it out into a waning shaft of sunlight that falls in one corner of the room. “A study of . ” says Caspar. Words fail him then. Iris puts her hands to her mouth. Margarethe has been unable to maintain her posture of superiority. Out of interest or a motherly tendency to chaperone, she has followed them into the chamber. ” “It is a good likeness,” says Margarethe at last. “It is severe,” Caspar concedes.

Iris is amazed. “Come,” says Caspar. He leaps up and tugs Iris’s hand. ” cries Margarethe. ” says Caspar. Iris is surprised and bothered by Caspar’s touch, and if only to break away from him, she jumps up as if in assent. She hands her bowl to Ruth, who settles the windmill inside it, up to its little wooden neck in emerald peas. ” asks Margarethe. Iris can’t answer her mother. Caspar has Iris again by the faintest of touches. Walking backward, he draws her into the studio. ” says Caspar. qxd 2/12/2003 8:39 AM Page 50 C O N F E S S I O N S O F A N U G LY ST E P S I ST E R “No master restricts learning, or he is no master,” says Caspar.

It’s the worst torture anyone could have devised for her, to have to sit so still! But, day after day, she sits respectably, clothed. And glad for it now. “Let me see what you have done with me,” she says after the fifth afternoon. The lowering sun is pushing dusty golden light at the canvas, and she feels brave. “There’s no point,” he says. “I haven’t caught you. I’m not trying to catch you. qxd T H E O 2/12/2003 B S C U R E C 8:39 AM Page 39 H I L D shape to me. There is a shadow on the board; it is not Iris Fisher.

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