What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. Things could not be better except for one thing: The king is dead.
The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means? Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
When I read this synopsis, I thought I knew what I’d find within the covers of this book – some grief and depression, served with a slice of fantasy and a hint of optimism. But I was wrong, and quite delighted to be wrong!
Meredith deftly pulls you into the story, so much so you that you can almost feel what Snow White’s been through. This is especially true when he flashes back to her years of torture at the hands of her evil step mother. Those portions are most certainly not for the faint hearted.
And while he sticks to the set pieces of the story – the evil stepmother, the hunstman, the seven dwarves, the poisoned apple – all of it has a slight twist. The huntsman, for example, isn’t the one who saves Snow White, he’s the reason she runs away from the Palace. So while a lot of the elements will be familiar, there’s also a lot of grit and rawness in the retelling.
The interesting part, of course, is the ever after. Was it really a fairytale ending, or were there lovers spats and court intrigue? I’m not giving anything away, except to say that it made for very interesting reading.
This novella hit all the right spots for me – it made the fairy tale deliciously darker, the romance was less syrupy sweet, and there were unexpected twists in the retelling so things were a lot less predictable. And of course, the ever after was all new and richly imagined.
Sounds interesting? Get your copy of The Reflections of Queen Snow White here!