The Woodcutter family has seven daughters, each named after a day of the week. The youngest, Sunday, has a hard time living up to the exploits of the other 6. Her only comfort is writing stories in her secret retreat down by the water – even though what she writes often comes true. One day she meets an enchanted frog who, unlike everyone else, is interested in her beloved stories. They become friends and soon Sunday’s feelings turn to love. One night she kisses him goodbye and goes home and true love’s kiss turns Rumbold back into a man – who happens to be the prince of the land. Now Rumbold hopes to woo Sunday into loving him as a man, just as she loved him as a frog. But the path of love never runs smoothly and both the Woodcutters and the royal family have many secrets in their histories. Can Sunday and Rumbold overcome their pasts and the magic forces pitted against them and form a beautiful new future together?
Bubby: The part I like most in this book is that Alethea Kontis drew aspects from pretty much every fairytale ever. However, the part I liked least in this book is that the author drew aspects from pretty much every fairytale ever. We have Jack and the Beanstalk, the enchanted dancing shoes, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and most importantly for this novel, the Frog Prince. It’s all very well done but it gets a bit confusing. The biggest irritation for me is that the writing that Alethea Kontis does is so very good and I feel that there needs to be more of her and less of everyone else. I am excited to read something from her that is hers alone and has no borrowing.
Sissy: In a rare and alternate universe sort of way, I agree with Bubby! Alethea had so much going on here (she even says herself that this book came from a story writing challenge to use every possible fairytale reference) that I sometimes felt it took away genuine feeling from the characters and story. I did love many of the references, especially the sister who ran away with the pirate king, but the sister who danced herself to death was too much. And the poor mom suffered guilt and pain because of all the dumb fairy tale references that impacted her life. I liked the main character, Sunday,and her friendship with the frog prince seemed genuine.
Bubby: How would it be to have 7 girls – and a few boys – with all the girls named after the days of the week? The depictions of each child are so rich and detailed – everyone has their own unique interests and abilities. For instance, Sunday’s ability is that what she writes down has a tendency to come true. And when Sunday’s mother speaks, people have to do what she says. I know that there are lots of bad karma-y things that come out of having special powers and such but I think that it would be worth it sometimes. Can you imagine? I say “Sissy! Buy me a fabulous lunch!” and lo and behold, she goes forth and procures me something yummy. Or “Disobedient teenage child! Clean the bathroom!” and poof – clean bathrooms! I am sure that I would only use this power for good and it should be granted unto me by my fairy godmother immediately.
Sissy: If I could, I would grant you that power, although I would probably almost immediately regret it! My favorite character in the book was Sunday’s fairy foundling brother Twix–their relationship was delightful, and he was delightful! Honestly, sometimes I got confused over which day of the week sister was who, and what fairytale we were referencing at any given moment. It was weird how I liked finding new tales, but then I didn’t. The woodcutter dad was a great guy, and the fairy godmothers were well-depicted. So I guess I am of two minds concerning this book. It was a good, magical story, but sometimes confusing and disjointed. Alethea Kontis has many moments of beautiful, prosaic writing, but other times, I felt a “clunk.”
Bubby: I loved Twix as well. He was the perfect fairy – childlike, capricious and kind. He reminded me of my own dear younger brother who is so sweet and loving and funny that he’s almost too good to be true.
Sissy: What have you been smoking? Or is there something that went on while I was away at college that I was never told about? You are the youngest child, and none of your older brothers would appreciate being described as “sweet, loving, and funny.” They would say “grrr” and hit you with a pair of deer antlers.
Bubby: Well, I DID say he was too good to be true. Oh, well. I enjoyed the “Wizard of Oz” -esque relationship between the two fairy godmothers; one good and one evil. Interesting how sisters are often portrayed that way in fairy tales. Hmm . . .
Sissy: When in reality sisters are usually a mix of good and evil, except in our case, where good prevails, mostly. So, all in all, this book was good, in a weird way, but still good. I want to see more of Alethea Kontis’ writing. I give it 3 wands, no, golden balls, no, dancing slippers, no, magic beans, no, pumpkins, no…BUBBLES.
Bubby: I really enjoyed most parts of Enchanted. The basic storyline was great, the characterizations were really well done and there was magic and princes and beautiful ball gowns. I give it 3 ½ bubbles and I am definitely going to read the sequel, Hero, which comes out soon.
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