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Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast Paperback – June 30, 1993
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The plot follows that of the renowned legend: Beauty selflessly agrees to inhabit the Beast's castle to spare her father's life. Beauty's gradual acceptance of the Beast and the couple's deepening trust and affection are amplified in novel form. Robin McKinley's writing has the flavor of another century, and Beauty heightens the authenticity as a reliable and competent narrator.
This was McKinley's first book, written almost 20 years ago. Since that time she has been awarded the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and has delighted her fans with another retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fable, Rose Daughter. Still, McKinley's first novel has a special place in the hearts of her devoted readers, many of whom attest to relishing Beauty time and again. (Ages 11 to Adult) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
First, what this book is not--it is not a slam, bam action book or gigantic doorstopper epic.
What it is--a wonderful romantic retelling of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. A widower has three daughters, Grace, Hope, and Honour. As a young child, Honour decides that her name is boring and states she would rather be Beauty, and the nickname stuck with her. Kindly Grace and Hope grow up into great beauties, but Beauty grows into a gawky ugly duckling, little concerned with her looks, but proud of her intelligence and way with horses. They all live happily in the city until disastor strikes and they lose almost all their possessions. They move to the country next to a mysterious old forest and as years pass become used to hard work and the peasant life. Beauty thrives, but still suffers from low self esteem. Then their father goes back to the city to check on one of his lost ships and when he returns, brings her a beautiful rose. You know the story--he met the Beast who demanded one of his daughters in exchange for the father's life, because he dare to pluck the rose.
Beauty volunteers to got to the Beast, taking only her warhorse turned plowhorse, Great Heart. She meets the Beast and encounters all the mysteries of his strange castle and invisible servants, some fearful and some wondrous. A sweet and charming romance ensues as the Beast asks her every night for her hand in marriage.Read more ›
Beauty (real name is "Honour") is the ironically-named heroine of the story -- she isn't beautiful, but is very intelligent. She has two sisters, the beautiful Hope and Grace, and a benevolent, wealthy father. Then all their lives change suddenly: the ships their father owns are lost, and the money goes with them. One of the sisters marries a poor but worthy country lad, while the other lost her beloved fiancee who captained one of the ships. After selling their possessions the family moves to the countryside.
The father leaves on a trip -- and returns with a single rose, a gift for Beauty, which carries the price of either his life or his daughter. Beauty leaves to go live at the castle of the mysterious Beast, with only her plowhorse to accompany her. She arrives at a castle of invisible servants, magical books, friendly animals, and a melancholy Beast who asks her to marry him every evening...
There is nothing new in fairy tale retellings now, but when McKinley first wrote "Beauty," it was a relative rarity. And even now, few of them are as intelligently written and have such solid heroines. Rather than giving her story a contrived "twist," McKinley merely fleshes out the storyline and gives the characters personalities.
The writing is excellent; McKinley writes the more prosaic passages of cottage life and the surrounding friendly village, as well as the more dreamlike, fantastical scenes in the Beast's castle.Read more ›
Beauty, by Robin McKinley is what you would get. Beauty�s life starts out wonderful enough, daughter of a well-to-do merchant and ship-owner, living in luxury with him and her two sisters, Hope and Grace. When her father�s entire fleet is lost, he makes plans to settle his debts and retire to the country with what little remained to him. Grace had lost her love Robbie on one of the ships, and Hope�s secret love Gervain, who was nothing more than an ironworker in Father�s shipyard, steps forward to tell of a place to be had for little money in his hometown of Blue Hill.
He offers to travel with them back to his hometown and set up a blacksmith�s shop with Father, and they all agree to do this. Blue Hill is a far cry from the city from where the girls came, and they struggle to fall into a routine of work that they are unaccustomed to. Beauty was the youngest, but also the strongest, and she was the one who took on the rougher, outdoor chores, leaving her sisters to care for the household. Life continues, Hope marries Gervain, who superstitiously warns everyone to never venture into the woods behind their cabin at any time.
Comes the day Father gets word of one of his ships coming in, returns to the city, and on his way back, of course, gets lost in the woods where he runs into the estates of the Beast. The fairytale bargain is struck, and Beauty agrees to take her father�s place at the Beast�s grand palace to keep him company.
McKinley tells a beautiful, fully fleshed out story here, far more than the fairy tale with loveable characters, believable events, comedy and tragedy and love. If you need a break from life for awhile, pick up Beauty and give it a whirl. Enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First off: I am 30 years old, I usually read "spicy" books, but I bought this book as a 2 for 1 deal. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Lindsey86
I came back to this author after rereading the Hero and the Crown as an adult. I'm so glad I did. I can't say how much I love this book. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Sere
I first read this book when I was in high school, over 20 years ago. I came across it by accident in the paperback section of my local library and the cover caught my eye. Read morePublished 15 days ago by E. S.
Robin McKinley has (at least) two retellings of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, and this is by far the better of the two. Read morePublished 28 days ago by A. Snell
This Beauty is so relatable, and the story flows effortlessly. I just couldn't resist reading it all in one sitting.Published 1 month ago by Boston/Buffalo Gal
One of my favorite books. I first read it as a young adult, but loved it so much that I bought it to add to my personal "library". Read morePublished 1 month ago by Adri-Anne
Very well written grown up fairy tale. Loved all the characters made the story seem almost real. Everyone needs a good fairy tale once in awhile.Published 1 month ago by Carol