Title: Before Midnight: A Retelling of “Cinderella”
Author: Cameron Dokey
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 6, 2007
Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
Where’d I Get It: Library
Synopsis (From Goodreads): Etienne de Brabant is brokenhearted. His wife has died in childbirth, leaving him alone with an infant daughter he cannot bear to name. But before he abandons her for king and court, he brings a second child to be raised alongside her, a boy whose identity he does not reveal.
The girl, La Cendrillon, and the boy, Raoul, pass sixteen years in the servants’ care until one day a very fine lady arrives with her two daughters. The lady has married La Cendrillon’s father, and her arrival changes their lives.
When an invitation to a great ball reaches the family, La Cendrillon’s new stepmother will make a decision with far-reaching effects. Her choice will lead La Cendrillon and Raoul toward their destiny—a choice that will challenge their understanding of family, test their loyalty and courage, and, ultimately, teach them who they are.
My Thoughts: It was my desire to get something from the library that -wasn’t- on my list of books to get that made me pick this one up. I’m certainly glad that I did. Cameron Dokey’s retelling of the classic “Cinderella” tale was refreshing and bold. The author’s writing is fluid and complex while still being easy and quick to read. Though it is a shorter novel, once you’ve read to the end you do not feel cheated out of any of the story. The characters mentioned, even supporting ones, are quite cleverly written and you leave the story with a feeling that you know them all well enough. I do believe I like this version of the tale a touch better than the Disney version that most of my generation is familiar with. This one, at least, teaches a lesson of love rather than comeuppance.
Rating: 6 of 10