To start off the Monday Book Reviews, I thought it would be perfect to choose something meaningful to me. Ella Enchanted is a children’s fairy tale by Gail Carson Levine. It helped shape me.
A re-telling of Cinderella, the story follows Ella of Frell in her journey to be freed of her “obedience curse.” Every time I open the book for a re-read, the first line catches me, “That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift.” From those two sentences, the reader catches a glimpse of Ella’s attitude toward her predicament.
As the story progresses, the reader learns that she is intelligent (sometimes because she is forced to be) and quirky. She loves language and is adept at learning new ones. She is a strong heroine, but she isn’t anti-man. What I most is her courage to venture forth and carve her own destiny, even though she is “cursed” to live one kind of life.
To avoid spoilers, I won’t say much more other than it is a lighthearted and humorous story, but it also doesn’t leave out the tough questions we all face in life. It’s something even my Dad enjoys reading (and he’s a hard sf type of guy).
I’m thankful to have been half-formed by this story, and I hope that I am able to live in a way that Ella would approve of.