This story has been recommended to me countless times, but I've always put off picking it up. I stumbled across the book on instagram and finally gave it a try.
Summary: Beauty is a retelling of the classic Beauty and The Beast fairy tale. After losing their fortune to the winds of fate, Beauty and her family sell all they own and journey to the outskirts of civilization in order to make a new life. When her father's error of judgement brings a curse upon his family, Beauty, the youngest of three sisters, promises to spend the rest of her life with the Beast to save her father's life.
Disney read this book and made a movie from it.
My Thoughts: One thing I enjoy about all of McKinley's books is the vibrant and rich detail she gives her settings, characters and plots. While the true meat of Beauty is the story of how Beauty comes into her own at the enchanted castle, eventually leading up to her love for the Beast, the back story McKinley gives her cast is what truly captured my interest. I was captivated by Beauty and the gang's life on the edge of the enchanted forest as they learned how to survive outside of their lives as members of the privileged class. I believed Beauty's exhaustion as she used her muscles. I could appreciate Hope and Joy's goodness of heart as they learned to keep house and tend children. And I absolutely sympathized with their father as he unknowingly make a judgement of error that cost him his youngest child.
I also was pleasantly surprised that Beauty had a backbone. Beauty knew full well what she was getting into when she sacrificed her own life for her fathers. She took a known risk, trading her life as the youngest sister with few prospects but the love of a good family for a life of unknown but potential possibilities. Yes she makes a sacrifice for her family, but she doesn't pity herself (much) and makes her decision with self actualization and logic. Hurrah! A heroine I can be proud to share with the children in my family.
I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I can over look the cheesy happily-ever-after ending. I will also admit that I'm the type to find the beast more interesting as a beast instead of as a man. I thought McKinley did a phenomenal job on the Beast's back story as well as on his character development. He very well may have been my favorite character.
Rating: This is a fabulous story for readers of any age. Pick it up if you like fairy tales, Disney or incredibly well written young adult fantasy.
Reviewed By: Tami
Also Read By This Author: Chalice, The Hero and the Crown, The Blue Sword, Sunshine, Shadows