What happens when fairytale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after?
UAA MFA writing instructor Carolyn Turgeon, the author of “Godmother and Mermaid,” creates a fresh new twist on the classic stories of Rapunzel and Snow White in her new novel, “THe Fairest Of Them All.” (Touchstone Paperback; Simon & Schuster; August 6, 2013; $15.00; ISBN: 978-1-4516-8378-3).
The beautiful Rapunzel lives deep in an enchanted forest with her adopted mother, the witch Mathena, who was banished from court years ago because of her magic powers. One day, a prince hears Rapunzel’s voice and, mesmerized by her beauty, climbs her long golden locks up the tower. Overcome by desire, Rapunzel and Prince Josef fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting and Josef must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another.
Now king, Josef has brought peace to his kingdom through his marriage and he and his wife have a stunning daughter named Snow White. When the queen dies under mysterious circumstances, Josef realizes he is free to marry the woman who has continued to haunt his memories all these years, and makes Rapunzel his new queen. It is his hope that she will also replace the mother of his beloved Snow White.
But when Mathena’s wedding gift, a gorgeous and ancient mirror, begins speaking to her, Rapunzel has little choice but to fall under its spell…
“The Fairest of Them All” is not only a powerful story about two legendary women, but a high-concept exploration of how the evil witches in fairytales come to be. Rapunzel is, like many fairytale heroines, abused and mistreated, and then swept up by a dashing prince who makes everything OK, forever after. But how do these damaged girls live happily ever after? What if meeting their prince wasn’t enough to save them and one day they themselves became the evil witches and queens?
Carolyn Turgeon is the author of “Rain Village, Godmother, Mermaid,” and the young adult novel “The Next Full Moon.” She is the editor of “Mermaids”, a special-edition annual magazine, and teaches writing in the low-residency UAA MFA program in Anchorage. You can visit her online at www.CarolynTurgeon.com and www.IAmaMermaid.com.