Title: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
Author: Robin McKinley
Publisher: Harper Trophy 1978
Genre: Fairy Tales
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Semi-Charmed Challenge — Pair of Antonym Books; Telling Tales; Support Your Local Library
How I Got It: Library Loan
A strange imprisonment
Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.
When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”
I am disappointed. To be fair, I have always had issues with the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Why does Beauty love the Beast? I understand that the Beast must make someone fall in love with him so that the curse can be broken. But why does she love him? All he’s done is take her from her family and then try to “care” by giving her books and clothes. Blah! For that matter does the Beast even love her? He could be using her to break the curse, but drop her the minute it’s done. And there lies my issue with the fairy tale.
This retelling is the same except for the first third. I had high hopes. The first third is spent with Beauty and her family. They are wealthy, they lose the wealth, they try to make a name for themselves in a small town. Interesting story. And then Beauty goes to the Beast’s castle and everything falls into place. I was bored. Just bored. I am regulating this fairy tale to the bottom of the barrel.