It took me quite a few years to even get interested in reading the Wicked series, but once I did, I went through them quickly. So, in that spirit, I decided to start reading Gregory Maguire’s other fable/fairytale based stories.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire was a darker take on the story of Cinderella. Except that the story isn’t quite focused on Cinderella, but the two young girls that become her stepsisters. The story focuses on Iris and her sharp eye and mind. She recognizes that her mom is the reason why they’ve had such a hard life and she does everything in her power to stay out of the house as much as possible. Iris has a passion for painting and is rather indecisive about how she feels about Clara (Cinderella), often going back and forth between wanted to help her and tease her. There is a strong tie to religion, between the master painter and his roller-coaster ride into functioning madness. Plus, there are hints at romance and a first love with Iris and Casper (the master painter’s apprentice) which reminded me of Louise from Bob’s Burgers when she went to her first boy band concert (and was confused when she wanted to slap and kiss the cutest band member).
When I was so eager to start reading this, I had ended up borrowing it from the library having forgotten that I already owned a copy. OOPS! I really enjoyed reading a version of Cinderella from the other perspective. Only really have known the Disney version, I liked that this one was darker and had explanations for why the stepsisters were the way they were. Which should seem obvious now due the amount of different live action versions of the regular Cinderella story I have seen. Favorite version? Ever After (1998) – those wings were magical!
A made-for-tv movie version of this story (somewhere between traditional Cinderella and the book itself) premiered in 2002. I haven’t seen it yet and didn’t know it honestly existed until researching the book. There is little to no religion involved and is a softer version of the tale itself. Plus, Azura Skye plays Iris and she’s way too gorgeous to play an ugly stepsister. If I every come across it, I will watch the film, but I don’t have high hopes for it.
Have you read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister? Love it/hate it, comment below!