Wednesday, June 3, 2009


by Tracy Lynn

summary from
The Duchess Jessica's childhood began with a tragedy: her mother's death. Her father, heartbroken at the loss of his beloved wife, could not bear to raise the child. Largely ignored, Jessica spent the first eleven years of her life running free on the family estate, cared for only by the servants. Then her father decides to remarry, bringing an end to Jessica's independence. At first her new stepmother just seems overly strict. But as Jessica grows into a beautiful young woman, it becomes clear that her stepmother is also wildly -- and murderously -- jealous of her. Jessica escapes to London. Going by the name Snow to hide from her family, she falls in love with an odd band of outcasts who accept her into their makeshift family. But when her stepmother appears in the city, repentant and seeking her forgiveness, Jessica will have to decide whom to trust...with her life.

I read this book for the first time about 3 years ago and I remember liking it; however, since then, I have read fairy tale re-tellings by several other authors (Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George) and now I think I'm a bit more demanding. The writing isn't fantastic and didn't draw me in like others have. And, while I realize it's completely unfair to this book in comparison to others I've read that's what I found myself doing the entire time I read it.

The story itself isn't bad. It's a fairly strange re-telling, and while it's apparent which story it is based in (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) it takes some liberties (there are only 5 lonely ones instead of 7 dwarfs, etc). However, I enjoyed the characters (mostly the lonely ones - I found Snow a bit annoying) and the strangeness wasn't a total put off. It was just well. . . strange.

If you enjoy fairy tale re-tellings, it is worth checking Snow out. But, it's definitely not the best example of one that I have read.

3 out of 5 stars

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