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Cinderella – A Love Story by Gina LoBiondo
Cinderella — A Love Story is “a fanciful and absorbing rewrite of the classic faerie tale”. It is told here in a fascinating new version, set circa mid-16th century. Younger readers will love the borrowed magic that enables Ella to attend the ball, while older readers — including adults — will connect with the inseparable bond between mother and child; a bond that transcends time and space and even death itself. Ella’s parents are young and in love and the family is happy until Marie suddenly dies. Her father remarries, hoping to give his beloved child a mother’s love and care. But Charles’s new wife is a cruel, unaffectionate woman, who cares only for her own two very backward daughters, and turns her step-daughter into a servant. Ten years later, when the King throws a ball in honor of his son, Ella’s only chance at happiness comes from a most unexpected source.
Kids Lit Book Café review:
Cinderella – A Love Story is written by Gina LoBiondo and illustrated by Donna Sterpe. It’s a re-telling of the classic fairy tale but with some twists. There’s still a handsome Prince and a young girl forced to be a servant, with a blossoming romance and a little touch of magic.
This book was a delight to read. The writer, Gina LoBiondo, has perfectly captured the soft and gentle charm of the main character, Ella. The back story to Ella’s father and mother, Marie, is heart-warming, and the introduction of the new and mean-spirited wife, Vera, is spot on. Ella has two stepsisters who aren’t quite as nasty as the originals but are egged on by their mother to be cruel and unfeeling towards Ella. If the truth be known, though, they quite like her and are perhaps reluctant bullies. There is a nice twist with the introduction of a character who is the equivalent of the Fairy Godmother, which enhances the story in a perfectly delightful way.
Gina LoBiondo has a real gift in her storytelling which brings this version of the classic Cinderella tale to life in its own unique way. The characters are so well developed they create empathy and annoyance in equal measure, and the ‘voice’ of the story is perfect for the era and really transports the reader to another time and place. It’s like the magic pulls the reader into the pages of the book. The illustrations by Donna Sterpe are an enhancement to the overall reading experience as they capture the mood and dreamily reflect the period.
Cinderella – A Love Story is a joy to read and leaves a satisfied reader with the feeling that magic really does exist, and anything can happen if you truly believe. Chick Lit Café highly recommends Cinderella – A Love Story by Gina LoBiondo. Book reviewed by Jane Finch for Kids Lit Book Cafe.
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