Book Review: The Jilted Bride by Kristen Reed
The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness is romance/fairytale novella with a twist. While not a strict retelling of Cinderella’s tale, it looks at the larger picture of that story.
Demetria, the daughter of Lord Aurelian, the Duke of Isidor, is preparing to marry Caspar, the Prince of Aspasia. At a ball before the wedding, her expectations are betrayed as Caspar spends the entire evening dancing with a woman she hadn’t seen before. At midnight, the woman leaves the ball, with Caspar running after her. Demetria lets this slide, but on the day of the wedding, after Caspar apologized for his behavior, that same woman, who Demetria finds out is a servant named Cinderella, shows up and Caspar leaves with her.
Demetria is heartbroken on her way back to Isidor, and reevaluates her ideas of marriage and love. At a time when she her perception of marriage is shattered by a house servant, Demetria finds herself in an unusual company that will change her perspective.
The Jilted Bride expands on the mythology of Cinderella and debunks the concept of the happy-ever-after by focusing on a character in the fringe of the original story. It’s fresh form of retelling a story which draws not only from folklore but also from Christian values, with strong hints of feminist writing. It presents strong and fully formed female characters who take the protagonist roles in the narrative, and the language is beautifully crafted to present a ancient tale in a very modern light.
The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness is the first of Kristen Reed’s Fairetellings series, with Eirwen’s Dream: Inside Snow White’s Sleeping Mind coming out on July 1st.
Kristen Reed, a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, is an artist, filmmaker, and author from Dallas, Texas. As a Christian, her faith heavily influences her writing and is the driving force in her life. She is the author of The Alazne Series, The Way of Escape, and The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness.