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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Monday, May 22, 2017

Goose Girl reimagined!



                           

Dickerson continues to take a well known fairy story and reimagine it to life in a new way. This time Grimm's tale of the Goose Girl is reborn. Lady Magdalen is to marry Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg. This marriage will help lift her province out of poverty. En route she is forced by her maid and maid's father to exchange places. Agnes her maid will now marry the Duke. However at the Duke's castle, the wicked Lord has seen to it that his son Alexander will take Steffan's place. Men are sent to kill Steffan. Fortunately that plot fails.
Steffan and Magdalen have to find a way to regain their respective proper places and come to a mutual understanding of what love and worthiness truly is. I liked Magdalen, but Steffan left me somewhat unmoved. He certainly has more growing to do than Magdalen.
Theirs is not a straightforward path. However both Magdalene and Steffan have right, faith and endurance on their side. And after all this is a 'fairy story'.
I must say that Magdalene has far more compassion for Agnes, the maid who betrayed her, than I would have.
At times I found the going a little strained. I understand the perspective underlying Dickerson's faith based writings and applaud her for it. I sometimes felt that there was an over inclusion of Magdalen and Steffan's references to scripture and the God's will, leading to a somewhat stilted reading process that interfered with the flow of the storyline. What had all the hallmarks of being a nuanced literary endeavour just didn't eventuate to its full potential. 
Dickerson's works do however continue to break new grounds in the realms of Christian fiction specifically, and fiction more generally, and that's very promising. 

A NetGalley ARC

*** 1/2

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