Disturbingly honest online dating confessions of an ugly stepsister

“[An] engrossing story...endearing and memorable.”—Boston Herald“[An] arresting hybrid of mystery, fairy tale, and historical novel.”—Detroit Free Press“A tale so movingly told that you will say at the end of the first reading, ‘It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book this good.’” —Nashville Tennessean Gregory Maguire proves himself to be “one of contemporary fiction’s most assured myth-makers” (Kirkus Reviews) with Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, his ingenious and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella fairy tale.

Perhaps best known for his dark and breathtaking Oz series The Wicked Years—including the novel Wicked, which inspired the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical—Maguire is a master at upending the ordinary to help us see the familiar in a brilliant new light.

Discuss the role of artistic representation in Confessions. Gregory Maguire posits four types of beauty in the novel: that of physical human grace and perfection, that of flower blossoms, that of art, and that of the gesture of charity.Is it possible to make a statement about the relative values of beauty?Lately, prestige films that miss the cut in the polls, critics’ lists, nominations and awards presentations might not be accorded even a wider theatrical release in non-select cities.But by advancing the streaming and DVD/Blu-ray windows, distributors now can take advantage of the pre-holiday marketing halo and avoid spending another fortune in advertising revenues.The January doldrums are upon us, when Hollywood attempts to attract audiences in smaller cities and towns to movies ballyhooed in the run-up to awards season, but whose exposure has been limited to critics, guild members and viewers in select cities, as they used to call New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.

Traditionally, movies that did well at the Golden Globes and in Oscar nominations could expect a bump at the box-office in January and run-up to Valentine’s and Presidents’ days.

The street is splotched with puddles from an earlier cloudburst. Is this new land a place where magic really happens? We'll get nearer, we'll ask.""Mama, Ruth is tired," says the younger daughter, "she hasn't eaten much nor slept well. Reprinted by permission of Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling?

Not in cloaks of darkness as in England, but in light of day? We're coming as fast as we can."Don't apologize, it wastes your breath. Tumbles of grapes, some already jellying in their split skins. What fate befell those untouched by beauty..what curses accompanied Cinderella's exquisite looks?

just mend your ways and watch your tongue," says the mother. "" Yes, of course," agrees the younger daughter, by rote, "it's just that Ruth-""You're always gnawing the same bone. Fish laid to serry like roofing tiles, glinting in their own oils. Cheeses coated with bone-hard wax, or caught in webbing and dripping whitely-cats sprawl beneath like Ottoman pashas, open-mouthed. Hold your chin high and keep your pride."But Iris's hunger -- a new one for her-is for the look of things as much as for the taste of them. Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition.

Let Ruth speak for herself if she wants to complain."But Ruth won't speak for herself. Abandoned, as mother and daughters scrambled through a side window, a cudgel splintering the very door --Screeeee -- an airborne alarm. "Oh," says the younger sister when the older one has stopped to gape at the abundance. There must be."The mother's face draws even more closed than usual. ""We saw few gestures of charity for us there, and I won't ask for charity here," says the mother. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.

Transformation is one of the main themes of "Cinderella," and of Confessions.