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I have read this book in print a number of times in the past and I always have enjoyed it. I find that the characters are sweet and genuinely good people in this story and I love it for being an affirmation of the goodness of humanity. I do feel that it is naive, but I find it soothing to read something so charmingly innocent and good-natured. I felt that the narration by Charlotte Parry was wonderfully done. I found her voice to be extremely pleasant to listen to and I felt that she maintained the characters consistently in the voices that she created for them.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
So, she did have another name! And what better name than Honor.
Robin McKinley creates a wonderful re-interpretation of the classic story here. Unlike in the Disney (and many other) versions, Beauty is not really an outsider or a misfit. She is a vital part of a caring family, not simply the adored daughter of an old man. This is one of my favorite aspects of McKinley's retelling. Beauty may not be as attractive as her sisters, and she is more interested in books, but her role in a growing family is complete and necessary.
We spend a good portion of the book in this very real and very down-to-earth family. Although financial misfortune brings them down in the world, this marvelously-portrayed group of people become an emotionally and financially supportive unit - no misfits here. McKinley is adept at creating characters - and at describing and bringing to life mundane family life and a magical world.
Several reviewers mention Stockholm syndrome. When dealing with ancient fairy tales, I believe this is a mistake. The lesson of Beauty and the Beast is not one of loss of freedom or being worn down by one's captor; it's rather a tale of growth of understanding and maturity and, yes, of Honor and duty - not particularly popular character traits in modern culture!
Yet, we keep telling and reimagining these ancient tales. They still have something to offer us in our growth and development as human beings. It's terrific that authors keep them alive for new generations.
I thank Audible for bringing me back to the world of Robin McKinley, and I look forward to listening to some of her other works. They are truly a a breath of fresh air for all ages.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, my friends have similar tastes to me and over the years have all been given a copy of this paperback as I love it so much. It's a fairy tale rewriting of Beauty and the Beast but what is lovely about this is the lead is a bookworm :) a girl after my own heart.
What other book might you compare Beauty to, and why?
Ummm... Beauty and the Beast :) no. Ok, Robin McKinley has gone on to write Rose Daughter another retelling of a classic fairy tale. I would also say Patricia C Wredes Enchanted Forest Chronicles would be a similar read.
What does Charlotte Parry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
I love that it's a British narrator. I've happily listened to America narrators and it's such a delight to listen to a great voice. She brought Beauty to life.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes and I did :) listened to it all in one day whilst pootling about the house entertaining the tiddlers and doing some housework.
Any additional comments?
a great standalone listen.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was pleasantly surprised at how no-nonsense and straightforward this fairytale was. I also enjoyed the narration quite a lot. All in all, a very pleasant book.
I have read the traditional novel many times and it was great to finally hear the audiobook version. Charlotte Perry does work fantastic with all the voices. A lot of the time I read this book and hope it never ends. I hope you enjoy it too!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This was wonderful in every way, we loved the story and the performance. It is a beautifully written reselling of a classic tale and expertly performed.