Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire...Review & Giveaway!

One of my most favorite authors is Gregory Maguire. He had me at Wicked and I have read every one of his novels over the years.  I saw Wicked the Musical in Boston many years ago and was lucky enough to hear Mr. Maguire speak here in Portland many, many years ago. I find his work to be creative and quirky and so highly readable.  His work is a real treasure.  His latest offering is Hiddensee is the creative retelling of the  Nutcracker and is an absolute must read.  Here is the scoop...

Gregory Maguire returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him.
Hiddensee: An island of white sandy beaches, salt marshes, steep cliffs, and pine forests north of Berlin in the Baltic Sea, an island that is an enchanting bohemian retreat and home to a large artists' colony-- a wellspring of inspiration for the Romantic imagination . . .
Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann-- the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann's mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier-- the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's fairy tale ballet-- who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.
But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults-- a fascination with death and the afterlife-- and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless? Ultimately, Hiddensee offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share.

My Thoughts:  Gregory Maguire is a masterful storyteller and his imagination is unbeatable.  If you are familiar with Tchaikovsky’s ballet you as I am you would expect to hear the tale from Klara or perhaps the prince but the perspective is from Klara's Godfather, Drosselmeier who creates the Nutcracker for her.  The reimagining of this story as told by "Dirk" is a fantastical journey full of surprise, mystery and darkness.  As always, Maguire creates a setting that transports you right into beautiful and desolate Bavaria.  His prose is almost poetic with bits of humor thrown into the sometimes dark storytelling.  We meet Dirk as a young boy and follow him along as he comes of age in the most mythical and eccentric ways.  Life does not always go as one would hope for Dirk but following his path is one crazy adventure.  
I think it takes a special author to weave a story based around a well loved folk and/or fairytale.  There must be research to stay somewhat true to the original storyline but also a powerful imagination to make it your own.  Gregory Maguire has mastered this skill time and time again and he has done it to perfection with Hiddensee.  Pick up this book and buckle up for a fantastic journey.  You can pick up your copy at the local bookstore or on Amazon here...




Win It!  One lucky Reviewed by Mom follower will win a copy of Hiddensee!  Thanks so much to the publisher and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

42 comments:

John Smith said...

"Gregory Maguire often reimagines favorite fairy tales and stories. What tale would you like to see him tackle next?" "The Little Matchstick Girl."

John Smith said...

https://www.facebook.com/reviewedbymom/posts/1747654815257726?comment_id=1747986361891238&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D

Jessica Peeling said...

The Fisherman and His wife (jessicapeeling@yahoo.com)

Jessica Peeling said...

Commented on FB (Jessica Peeling)

bn100 said...

no idea

Darlene said...

Tackle Cinderella.

aLilLacey said...

Humpty Dumpty. They never said he's an egg

Jana Leah B said...

I'd like to see Little Red Riding Hood.

Jana Leah B said...

I commented on FB (user Jana Leah).

Sandy Klocinski said...

The Little Mermaid. I'd like him to pretend that the Disney version doesn't exist and go with the Hans Christian Andersen version about Andersen's unrequited feelings for Edvard Collins and re-write The Little Mermaid as The Little Merman. And maybe give it a happy ending.

Robin said...

"The Princess and the Pea".

stacy said...

Beauty and the Beast

Abigail Gibson said...

Jack and the Beanstalk would be cool to do a spin on.

sweepmom said...

I love Gregory Maguire. Wicked got me hooked on reading again. I think he would do an amazing job with Rumplestiltskin.

Deborah Wellenstein said...

I would love to see his take on Hansel and Gretel.

dn6511 said...

I would like a take on Jack and the Beanstalk

wen budro said...

His take on Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs would be pretty cool to read.

Stacy said...

Rapunzella would be interesting.

Leela said...

Hansel and Gretel.

Nancy said...

Maybe he could reimagine Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Karen said...

Little Red Riding Hood would be my vote.

Stacey Lovesbooks9 said...

Little Red Riding Hood

Angie Ford said...

The old lady in the shoe!

Chelsey Lee said...

The little mermaid would be cool. I don't know what all he's done. I read wicked and the ugly stepsisters. I'll have to look him up again!

Susan Smoaks said...

little red riding hood is my favorite i would love that.

Casey Garvey said...

I would love to see Gregory tackle the little mirmaid!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see The Little Mermaid.

Gabrielly said...

I'd like to see Cinderella.

Anonymous said...

Goldilocks and the Three Bears!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Cassandra D. said...

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Kristin C said...

Hansel and Gretel!

Antoinette M said...

Snow White & Rose Red

Tracy Shafer said...

I'm thinking Little red riding hood would be good.

lildevilgirl22 said...

I would like to see mother goose reimagined

Shakeia Rieux said...

Beauty and the Beast would be a good one

Annmarie Weeks said...

It may sound silly, but I'd love a rendition of the Princess & the Pea...with all the background story before she arrived at the castle needing a bed!

desitheblonde said...

i love the jack and jill book

Philip Lawrence said...

I would like to see them redo "The Little Prince".

Buddy Garrett said...

I would like to see him reimagine Hansel and Gretel.

adoptingteens said...

Little Red Riding Hood would be fun rewrite

Sand said...

Beauty and The Beast.

Floof Penguin said...

Jack and Jill would be awesome!