Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review: Godmother & Giveaway

Summary: Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings–the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming.

But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world. But then one day she meets Veronica–a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with a love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men–and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she’s been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for. . . . -- Three Rivers Press

I have to admit that the description of the book GODMOTHER: THE SECRET CINDERELLA STORY by Carolyn Turgeon intrigued me. I know books that re-tell fairy tales are popular right now, but I haven't read a lot of them. For some reason, this one really appealed to me probably because the fairy godmother character worked in a bookstore and the book takes place in the present. Whatever the reason, I am so glad that I picked up GODMOTHER -- it was a fabulous book.

This book is a must read if you enjoy fairy tales. The book is a wonderful re-telling of the age-old Cinderella story but it is filled with some twists. Suffice it to say that in GODMOTHER, the Cinderella story that we all know and love isn't the real story. I love how the author created this new version; and while it is drastically different, I love how it still fits with the original story. GODMOTHER is at times funny, dark, touching, and even surprising; but above all, it is just a magical story!

Ms. Turgeon is an amazing writer! Not only did she come up with a new Cinderella story in this novel, but she also made up another storyline that is extremely creative. I love how she told this story by going back and forth between present day when Lil is trying to work a little fairy godmother magic and her past when she was Cinderella's fairy godmother. I absolutely adored how Ms. Turgeon wove these two stories together -- it was seamless. I was drawn into Lil's story from the very start; and I couldn't put the book down until I found out what happened to her.

Lil is a wonderful character and the perfect choice for narrator of this book. There is much more to Lil than I first thought when I started this novel -- she is an extremely complex and interesting character to say the least. After Lil botched her role as the fairy godmother in the Cinderella story, she was forced to live as a human (rather than a beautiful fairy) and deal with her mistakes. Lil, now an older woman working in a used bookstore, receives a few clues that maybe she is being given a second chance. She decides that if she can just make a match between her new friend and her boss, she just might redeem herself and return to the fairy world. My heart went out to Lil because it was obvious that she was living with a great deal of loneliness and guilt. I certainly found myself rooting for her and hoping that she was getting a second chance.

The entire time I read GODMOTHER, I kept thinking that it would make the perfect movie. Stories that re-tell fairy tales with some twists have such a huge audience right now, and this one would most certainly appeal to a lot of people. As I read this novel, I could almost picture the scenes as a movie, especially the ones with Cinderella and the other fairies. So I wasn't surprised when I read that the book has been optioned for film by Random House Films/Focus Features. I really hope this movie gets made because I think it has the potential to be wonderful.

After I read this book and enjoyed it so much, I decided to check out Ms. Turgeon's website and learn a little more about her. I was so excited to see that she's written another book RAIN VILLAGE which I am now dying to read. I also learned that she's a Penn State graduate (like me) and even lives in Central PA (also like me!) I love how she mentions that her New York friends refer to her as a hillbilly now because my DC friends said the same thing when we moved here! If you'd like to learn more about Ms. Turgeon, you can also check out her blog. There is also a great article about the magic of books clubs that she wrote for Reading Group Guides -- you can read it here.

Speaking of book clubs, I think GODMOTHER would be a really fun pick for a future book club meeting. It's a terrific read and there's actually a great deal to talk about. The book contains a reading guide in the back which will help direct your discussion. I would love to hear my friends opinions on the ending of the story, as well as their thoughts on the themes of loss, friendship, redemption, loneliness, and beauty. There are so many issues which a book group could delve into and analyze.

Does GODMOTHER sound like a book that you'd like to read? I just happen to have an extra, autographed copy to share with one lucky reader. To enter the contest, just leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me why you want to read this book. To double or even triple your chances, blog about this contest with a link back to this post and/or tweet about it. The contest will be open until Friday, April 3rd at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!

A big thanks goes out to Alisha from Crown Publishing for sending me this wonderful and enchanting novel!

Also reviewed at:
Melody's Reading Corner
The Written Word

108 comments:

Beth F said...

Nice review. And please enter me into the contest. Does Turgeon live near you or near me? I ask because I wonder if she does events.

Margay said...

I would like to read this book because I have always been fascinated by the Cinderella story and this looks like an interesting take on it. I tweeted about it here:

http://twitter.com/Margay

Margay

Margay1122 (at) aol (dot) com

Gwendolyn B. said...

I'd love to read this because of it sounds upbeat and fun -- things I need in my life right now. Also, I'm a hopeless romantic! Thanks for the chance -- I'll Tweet about this a little later on.
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Amanda said...

Oh this sounds great! I LOVE fairy tales and especially ones that are re-told in modern day tales. And I love that it's set in Manhattan. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm checking out her website now :)

bermudaonion said...

I'm very intrigued because Godmother and Rain Village sound so different. I'd love to be entered for this one. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Marta said...

this book sounds really good! I'd love a chance to read it...:)

great review of the book also.

tbbycatt@gmail.com

http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com

Karlie said...

I love fairy tales and this one sounds great! Nice review.

Bridget said...

Great review. I've posted this on Win A Book. No need to enter me.

Holly said...

What a great review! I would love to be entered to win this. I've seen Godmother a few other places and I LOVE fairy tale retellings. This one sounds like it would be fun.

Thanks for hosting!
Holly
isaacson.holly[at]gmail[dot]com

Marie said...

I love fairytales. This book sounds great. Please enter me. Thanks.

Stephanie said...

Don't enter me, since I already have a copy, but am glad that you enjoyed it so much and will move it up to the top of my TBR pile!

olympianlady said...

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks! I love retold fairytales. This one sounds particularly fun and worth reading.

tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

Becca said...

Please enter me! I want to read this because it sounds like a lot of fun and also because the summary and your review make it sound so good.
I blogged about it here:
http://completepoppycock.blogspot.com/2009/03/cinderella-sort-of.html

Thanks
rebecca.bradeen(at)verizon(dot)net

teabird said...

I love retellings of fairytales - Robin McKinley comes to mind - and Godmother sounds wonderful!
Please enter me -

teabird 17 at yahoo dot com

nfmgirl said...

To be honest, when I first started reading the intro and the fairy wings, I almost left. Just didn't sound like my kind of story. But then I continued on, and found myself intrigued by the "rest of the story"-- a fairy godmother banished to live among humans. After reading through to the end, I find that I now want to read the story. Sounds like a very pleasurable read. And I have to admit that one of my favorite movies is Ever After with Drew Barrymore. SUCH a chick flick!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Dan said...

The whole idea of another take on an age old story is fantastic. This review makes me want to read the book even more. Thanks.

grumpydan[at]netzero[dot]com

songbirdz said...

I've been really wanting to read this.. I love re-tellings of fairy tales, whether in good light, dark, or erotic (like Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy..)
Please enter me, thanks! =) lpmccann(at)gmail.com

Ti said...

As I young child I was discouraged to read fairy tales and anything that was not of a factual nature so I didn't really get to enjoy them until I was much older. For that reason, I am one big kid when it comes to fairies and make-believe so this book sounds wonderful to me.

Also, I received The Red Leather Diary yesterday. Thanks for sending it!

thereedfamily[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I love reading fairy tale retellings because it's always interesting to see a new take on a story we know so well.

Melanie said...

I would love to reaad this book. Sure the the part about working in a book store hooks me, but I also like the older woman helps a younger woman find love .

Indigo said...

I would love to read this book. It has all the familiar elements of a Charles de Lint book. Fairies and urban reality entwined together. Thanks for the opportunity, please enter me in this drawing. Indigo

ravensquietscreams@gmail.com

Mom of 5 Boys said...

I would love to read this! I really enjoy retellings of fairy tales. I have read all of Gail Carson Levine's versions and Shannon Hales' versions and am working my way through Robin McKinley's. This one would fit right in!

donnas said...

Please enter me. I would love to read this because I love fairy tales and stories about the other characters we never hear much about in the main story. Gregory MacGuire has a couple of great ones like that too.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Jen - devourer of books said...

Well I want to win this book because I trust your book judgment and you make this one sound fantastic. I'll blog this in my weekly links post this weekend.

Gwendolyn B. said...

Julie: Here's my Tweet: http://twitter.com/ASeaOfBooks/status/1349018960

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Erika Lynn said...

i love fairytales retold and this one sounds fabulous, count me in

I also blogged about it
http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/03/some-amazing-contests.html

sports dot erikalynn at gmail dot com

Rica said...

Our school loves different renditions of Cinderella. We have a separate section!

writemeg said...

Like many other awesome readers, I love books about fairytales / classic stories retold. This one sounds great! Thanks for the chance!

Megan
writing.meg [at] gmail.com

Jenn said...

I would love a chance to win a copy of this book. I am also going to suggest it as a book club pick for my bookclub.

Wendy said...

I love fairy tales! This one is on my wishlist! Please enter me :)

wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

Wonderful review!

Sunny @ the Library said...

I love interpretations of fairy tales and I'd also love to enter this contest!

Thanks!

Annie said...

I'd love to read this as it sounds like quite an adventure!

Thanks very much!


nancyrobster@gmail.com

Annie said...

Tweeted

greeeneyedwhwomhttp://tinyurl.com/c4eegu Win a copy of Godmother fr Booking Mama

greeeneyedwhwom is my twitter name

Thanks

nancyrobster@gmail.com

Lisa N. said...

I love reading fairy tales and would like to read a new twist on a classic tale. I've been hearing great things about this book and would love a chance to win it!

rocket_kay at hotmail dot com

Delilah said...

Well I just finished reading the book "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch Of The West" which was like a retell of the Wizard Of Oz, and I loved it. So maybe I will love this book too! :)

LuAnn said...

Wow! This book sounds great! It's one I would share with my daughter, who was a big fairy tale fan when she was a little girl.

MJ said...

Cinderella was the very 1st movie I watched. I still love. I'd love the read the godmother's view of things!

Cheryl said...

Ohh I love reading about fairy tales. Nice review. Please enter me.

Thanks

clbstitch at yahoo dot com

The Giveaway Diva said...

omg cinderella was my favorite fairy tale of all time!!!

nicolemarielum @gmail.com

kate said...

ooo that sounds sooo good! would love to win!!

glittergurl04 @hotmail.com

Valorie said...

I love modern day takes on fairy tales whether they are remakes or extensions of characters not explored in depth.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Valorie said...

Blogged your contest:
http://www.morbid-romantic.net/2009/03/16/book-giveaways-0316-0322/

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

I am sooo glad you reviewed this...I've been eyeing it for months now! And her other book looks FABULOUS...I'll have to pick that one up soon!

Please add my name! I've always been fascinated by fairy tales! I really enjoy reading Gregory Maguire and Neil Gaiman!

Great review and contest...thank you!

Bookfool said...

Ooooh, this sounds fabulous! Have you read anything by Shannon Hale? If not, I highly recommend her books. Please do enter me.

bookfoolery at yahoo dot com

Amy said...

hmm..I would like to read this book because you liked it! :)

mypalamyATgmailDOTcom

S. Krishna said...

I'm really glad you enjoyed this one because it's sitting on my shelf! This was a great review. No need to enter me though!

Genevieve said...

I'd like to read this book because I love fairy tales and such. Especially Cinderella! I have about 6 different movie versions of Cinderella. : )

I posted a link of this contest in my blog's sidebar:
http://caprubia.blogspot.com/

caprubia(at)gmail(dot)com

Ally in WA said...

My favorite fairy tales are Cinderella and Snow White. This looks like an entertaining and unique take on Cinderella's fairy godmother.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

I would like to win this because the Cinderella story has always caught my interest. No matter how many the story is told through movie or through story book, I always love it!

behapppppppy(at)hotmail(dot)com

katayoun said...

i would love to read this, cause the story sounds fabulous, i love fairy tales and beautiful, soft romances.

PopinFresh said...

I love fairy tale retelling and anything to do with fairy tales in general, so please enter me in this giveaway.

Thanks

~ Popin

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway. I love the cinderella story and would love to read it. Great Review.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9@verizon.net

purplg8r said...

I would love to read this book because I have heard such great things about it and then after you reviewed it, it made me want to read it even more!

I blogged about the contest here

Red lady-Bonnie said...

I love the premise of the story and with the Godmother working in a bookstore ices the cake for me!

Pleaese enter my name into the drawing. Thanks

JessicaLeigh said...

I would love this book. It's been on my TBR list for a very long time. I'm very intrigued by this new idea of Cinderella, in a totally different viewpoint.

I tweeted about it here: twitter.com/jessicaleigh4

Thanks!

Janel said...

Fairy tales are so magical. I would love to see how this has been updated!

I also blogged about this in my right sidebar at:

http://janelsjumble.blogspot.com

sharon54220 said...

I've always loved fairy tales, especially Cinderella. Please enter me.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Cheryl S. said...

I love to read fantasy books. This one looks interesting because it reminds me of "Wicked" & I so enjoyed that play! It is so creative to take a well-established fairy tale & put a new twist on some of the characters.

Please count me in - Thanks!
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

cpullum said...

I loved Cinderella so I know I would love to read this!
Carla
cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

katie said...

Great review! I would love to read this book because I love fairytale retellings. And Cinderella was one of my favorites!

katieb206@gmail.com

planetbooks said...

Yes, please throw my name in the hat for GODMOTHER! This sounds great.

planetbooksworldwide @ gmail . com

Kaye said...

I think you are so right. The character working in a book store is a huge hook. Grabbed my attention right away. Great review. Please throw my name in the hat too. Thanks!

florida982002[at]yahoo [dot]com

Marie said...

I would love to read this since Cinderella was always my favorite fairy tale and this sounds like a great spin on the original story.

vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

MarthaE said...

This sounds like a lovely story - a chance for redemption. Thanks for a chance. mesreads [at] gmail [dot] com.

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

Carol said...

This sounds great. It is wonderful that so many more adult novels are being written based on fairy tales. Not just for children anymore...

Riva said...

Your review makes this sound like a wonderful spin on a much loved fairy tale. I'd love to read Godmother. Please enter me in your contest.

Riva
dulcibelle (at) earthlink(dot)net

Mo from Unmainstream Mom Reads said...

The twist on the traditional Cinderella fairy tale sounds really interesting, and I'd love to read the book. Thanks for the chance to win.

mto2golsen at gmail dot com

robin_titan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bkclubcare said...

Considering that I just added this to my wishlist, I might as well enter for a chance to WIN it! bkclubcare[AT]gmail

Kelly said...

I would love to get a copy of this book. I am very interested in fairy tales. I even took a class in that subject when I was in high school. My husband, still can't believe that they would offer such a course? But, they did! It was so interesting, you got to learn about the authors and the differance between the versions from Europe and the USA. It was great! I hope that I am considered?
Thanks, Kelly

NotNessie said...

I absolutely love retold fairy tales, and Cinderella is one of my favorites. Please include me in your contest.

Vanessa
gypsyrover21@yahoo.ca

Amy said...

I would love to read this because I LOOOVE Fairy Tale Remixes...LOL..and Cinderella in particuliar is really special to me...
I blogged about you here
http://chicbookreviews.blogspot.com

mindy said...

sounds wonderful and thanks for the giveaway

Kiki said...

Ooohhh I would LOVE to read this book! I love when authors put twists on the usual fairy tale stories and make something new and adventureous out of them!


Kiki
ParkingGoddessFTW at gmail dot com

barbmccrea said...

this sounds great, I would love to read it, please enter me!
barbmccrea at hotmail.com

BUSY BEE said...

I really enjoyed your review of this book. That is the main reason I am interested in winning. But other than that, I really enjoy new takes on old tales. Thanks for the giveaway!

whitten100 at yahoo dot com

Deborah said...

I'd like to read Godmother because now that I'm past the Princess and onto the Godmother stage myself, I'd like to know more lol. asthenight at gmail dot com

Susan said...

It just sounds lovely and whimsical. Thanks!

ellie said...

After reading your review I just have to read this book. Please enter me.

the epic rat said...

I want to read this book because I love anything to do with fairy godmothers and fairy tales, etc. And this sounds great! :)

I posted about this giveaway on the sidebar at my blog

cecilia { cecpham(at)gmail.com

JD said...

I want to read it bse I still believe in fairy tales

jdmimi at gmail dot com

divaqueenie said...

I love a good re-telling of a classic. Thanks for sharing with us!

Ladytink_534 said...

This sounds like such a good story (and I agree that it sounds like it would make a great film too)! Fairy tale retellings are some of my favorite books although I haven't read no where near as many as I should :)

Ladytink_534 AT yahoo DOT com

Jenny Girl said...

Oh why not! Please through my name in the hat too. Everybody could use a little fairy tale magic in their lives :)
jennygirl73ATgmailDOTcom

liane66 said...

B/c I need a fairy godmother.
Thanks for the giveaway!
kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

kalea_kane said...

This sounds like such an interesting take on Cinderella. I was compelled from your review alone! Please enter me in your giveaway! Thanks

Kelly

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

kalea_kane said...

I also Tweeted your giveaway here:

http://twitter.com/kellyblackwell/status/1419258837

Thank you again. This looks amazing!

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this. This sounds right up my alley. I really love fairytales and unique twists on them.

Thanks,

darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

AmandaSue said...

This sounds like a good book, I loved cinderella growing up and I like that it sorta ties in with it, and I always wished I had a Fairy Godmother. And I like the cover :) Thanks for the chance to read this.

kalea_kane said...

I blogged about your giveaway too. This looks amazing. Already on my wish list too! :)

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

Pissenlit said...

I'd love to read this book because I'm a huge fan of fairy tales, whether they be the original versions, retold versions or continuations.

Esme said...

I would love to read this book, as it is different from what I usually read.

Sue W. said...

I would love to win this book. I really enjoy fairytales and would like to learn whether the Fairygodmother is able to redeem herself. Sounds like a really fun read.

Sue W. said...

I have added this giveaway on my blog:

http://gourdcrafter.blogspot.com/

Sandra K321 said...

This sounds like an intriguing book that looks at the story of Cinderella in a completely different way than I ever thought of.

Sheri S. said...

I'd love to win this book because of your very persuasive review! The premise is so charming and plus I love the cover :)

kathy55439 said...

GREAT REVIEW.... MAKES ME WANT TO READ IT.... LOOKS LIKE A BOOK THAT CAN MAKE U SMILE... THAT WOULD BE NICE RIGHT NOW

Dar said...

I'd love to enter because I love fairytales and the retelling of them. Thanks for the giveaway.
bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

Liviania said...

I'd love to win it because I love fairytales. I'm taking a class in folklore now dye to that fascination.

inbedwithbooks AT yahoo DOT com

Laina said...

Please enter me!

I put a link here: http://bookcontestlinks.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-1st-2009.html

Laina1312@gmail.com

Nicole said...

I love to read fairy tales. A long time ago I read an adult one about Snow White and Rose Red but I don't remember the name. This first few pages of this seem really goo.

nicole [at] linussblanket.com

(: Isa :) said...

I want to read it because I love Cinderella and re-tells are awesome. The point of view is also very interesting!

greenc70@gmail.com

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads in Seattle said...

Oh - enter me please!! This book sounds amazing - imaging a fairy Godmother living among us, hiding her wings, all because she fell in love with the Prince! How could I not want to read this?? Maybe my fairy Godmother will sprinkle some fairy dust around my computer and help me win. ;)

Thanks for the great giveaway!!

Wendi aka Wendi's Book Corner
wbarker at hotmail.com

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads in Seattle said...

I've added a link to your giveaway on my blog sidebar under the giveaway section!!

Good luck everyone.

:) Wendi

Anita Yancey said...

I would like to read this book, because it sounds like such a fun book. Your review was so good, I couldn't help but want to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Willow said...

I love retellings of Cinderella stories, so this book would be a welcome addition to my personal library.

bkilbarger [at] gmail [dot] com

kathemc(at)gmail(dot)com said...

I love to see alternate viewpoints on a story -- would love to win!