A rose by any other name still smells as sweet, or does it?
Belle is convinced that she was given the wrong name. The name Belle means beautiful, and she is convinced that she is anything but; not like her two older sisters. Unfortunately, there is nothing she can do about it. She simply must let it go. In doing so, she finds pleasure in woodcarving and hopes to one day be able to carve a branch of the Heartwood tree and reveal the face of her one true love.
When Belle and her family are forced to move away from the home she has always known, they must travel through the forest that surrounds the town. Later, during a fierce storm, her father stumbles from the path and finds himself at the base of the legendary Heartwood tree, and face-to-face with the lonely beast who guards it. He manages to make a deal with the Beast; he can go home to his family only as long as Belle carves from the Heartwood branch for him.
I enjoyed this unique and beautiful retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales. This is not the same story Disney told in their version of Beauty and the Beast and I was happy to see some of the original aspects of the original Grimm stories coming through.
Belle is an interesting character. I was surprised by how much her name bothered her and how much thought she put into her beauty and appearance. One of the things I’ve always liked about Belle was her down to earth spirit and her focus on other, more important, aspects of life.
I was also happy to see her siblings and mother return to the scene. I was a little worried about her father’s friend and business partner. I was worried that he might end up being the beast but I was happy to discover that my worries were completely unfounded.
The writing style is perfectly suited for the age group of the targeted audience. The vocabulary is appropriate while still conveying the differences in the setting and the time period.
The Beast and his home was nothing like I was expecting. I’m not exactly sure what was so different about him personally, but there was something that made him different.
I really, really liked this novel and would give it four out of five stars. I would recommend this novel to fans of Beauty and the Beast who is not extremely attached to Disney's version.
I bought my copy of this novel from a local thrift store and the image above is my own.
Adult, Young Adult, and Teen Reviews.
Amazon Kindle 7
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