"It is the heart of this place, and it is dying," says the Beast. And it is true; the center of the Beast's palace, the glittering glasshouse that brings Beauty both comfort and delight in her strange new environment, is filled with leafless brown rosebushes. But deep within this enchanted world, new life, at once subtle and strong, is about to awaken. Twenty years ago Robin McKinley enthralled listeners with the power of Beauty. Now this extraordinarily gifted novelist retells the story of Beauty and the Beast again - but in a totally new way, with fresh perspective, ingenuity, and mature insight. In Rose Daughter she has written her finest and most deeply felt work, a compelling, richly imagined, and haunting exploration of the transformative power of love.
©1997 Robin McKinley (P)2013 Recorded Books
Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors in the whole world. Her first book is entitled, "Beauty" and is the story of Beauty and the Beast. Oddly, many years and books after "Beauty" Robin chose to tell the story of Beauty and the Beast again. And that is this book.
Both books have some things in common. They are both telling the same fairy tale, after all. But this story is fairly different in many ways. When this book first came out on paper, I got it immediately, but I was Very fond of "Beauty" and I think I was jealous on its behalf. I did not reread "Rose Daughter" again until this audio version came out. I can see now that "Rose Daughter" has much to offer. I think "Beauty" was the romantic ideal of an unmarried woman in her 20s, and "Rose Daughter" is the romantic ideal of a married woman in her 40s.
I still like "Beauty" better.
My advice if you have never read any of Robin's books: Start with "Beauty" or "The Blue Sword" or "The Hero and the Crown". Then if you fall in love with Robin's work, branch out into her other books, including this one.
I'm honestly not sure. I've read the print book several times and loved it, and the narration of this audiobook was excellent. However, it became obvious about halfway through that I've been skimming the longest sections of narration to get back to what's happening in the story. McKinley is the queen of long and luxurious description, but I found it dragged occasionally while listening. I still love it, but I might stick to the text version from now on.
The world of this story is so rich that you can't help but feel transported there.
Amato did an excellent job bringing out some of the subtler inflections of character voice. I could feel the emotion, and a time or two it brought tears to my eyes (and I'm not usually a crier).
This book would get a solid 4.5 from me in the overall category if half stars were an option. Performance was excellent.
**NOTE** This is NOT a continuation of the original Beauty with her Beast, it's another retelling of the same story, from scratch. Think: a parallel universe where things are similar, yet also vastly different. Despite having the same name, Beauty is definitely a new main character.
What I liked:
-The alternate ending. Very cool. No spoilers here, I'm just glad I listened til the end.
-The sisters are also completely different characters, and I enjoyed their sassy personalities. Again, no spoilers, just know that these girls aren't Hope and Grace rinsed and recycled.
-Really funny little blooper they didn't catch toward the mid-end/end of the book -- "How are we doing on time?" Those always crack me up.
What I didn't like:
-While the original Beauty and "Rose Daughter" Beauty are cut from a similar cloth, I preferred the original Beauty from "Beauty" over this version. If I didn't know how much I loved the original, however, I believe I'd appreciate this Beauty a lot more.
-Another commenter pointed this out, and I agree: in audiobooks, the amount I skim past overly detailed descriptions of location when I'm enthralled with a book becomes very obvious. Robin McKinley is almost as descriptive as Diana Gabaldon, and unlike the Outlander books, which give enough meat due to their length to make up for all the dressing, this book felt slightly too short on character development for all the flowery descriptions.
Worth a listen! I'm happy with my purchase, and looking into more Robin McKinley books.
Yes, because all of my friends like fairy tales.
I like that the two sisters aren't irredeemable nitwits in this version- they too have character and are a great support to their youngest sister.
This book is much more mystical than the first. The theme centers and roses and then brings up roses in almost every sentence. If the main character isn't remembering the scent of them, she's discovering their name, finding them in her garden, cultivating them, collecting them, saving them, glorying in them, pruning them, tying them up, making wreaths, learning stories about them, making friends of them....I think you get the picture. So did I. Very quickly. No need for so *much* repetition. The main character and her sisters were well fleshed out, but no one else was. The beast barely got a look in. And I'm not at all sure what happened at the end. Just lots and lots of roses and symbolism. A good read for some who enjoy nuance but for those who are looking for a good story....maybe not.
I would recommend this book to any fan of the story Beauty and the Beast. The words in the book are so descriptive, even though it's in a make believe place, you can actually imagine your are there down to very detailed elements.
Beauty is my favorite character. The way she thinks and analyzes in the book is outstanding. She shows a wide variety of emotions and curiosity.
Any of the scenes when Beauty is interacting with the beast, but if I have to pick one, it would be when they are on the roof of the castle.
If I had the time I would have listened to it all in one sitting. I listened whenever I had the time. I'd read the book as a child and was amazed to see an audio version finally. I'd been meaning to read it again but with my schedule lately I haven't had much time for reading books. This book being available is one of the reasons why I joined audible.
"Rose Daughter a Beauty and the Beast retelling"
What I love about Robin McKinley is her respect for the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Not only is Beauty one of my favourite reads/listens of all time, it's comforting and a beautiful variation.
And then there is Rose Daughter, a different variation again. Not my utmost favourite, but still a great listen.
Bianca Amato does a great job reading this.
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