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Publisher's Summary

Gregory Maguire, critically acclaimed author of Wicked, returns with his eagerly anticipated second novel. Using a dazzling reincarnation of the Cinderella story set in 17th century Holland, Maguire deftly weaves together stories of inner and outer beauty. Iris is a plain but intelligent young girl. Forced to flee England with her recently widowed mother, Margarethe, and her older sister, she finds herself swept into a life that becomes a legend. Arriving destitute, the family becomes employed in the home of a wealthy tulip merchant. Margarethe is hired as the housekeeper and Iris as a companion to the merchant’s stunningly beautiful but troubled daughter. When the merchant’s wife dies, Margarethe seizes the moment, and a wicked stepmother is born. Narrated with spirit and warmth by Jenny Sterlin, Gregory Maguire’s vision of Cinderella is a sweeping story of love and deception, where a ball, a handsome prince and the betrayal of a daughter can lead to everyone living happily ever after.

©1999 Gregory Maguire (P)2000 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this version

This is my second time reading/hearing this book, and I'm sure it won't be the last! Thinking about rereading "wicked" after listening to the interview at the end.

9 people found this helpful

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A new spend on something old.

I have enjoyed both of the booked I have listened to by this author. They are refreshingly different and relatively clean.
A good listen.

6 people found this helpful

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A Very Human Story!

I love Gregory Maguire! It’s always fun to read one of his books and imagine the stories you already know and love from a different view point. His characters are not what I would call lovable, but they are incredibly human. He doesn’t dress them up as overly virtuous or righteous, their motives and actions show you who they are for better or worse. I think that leaves a bad taste in many peoples mouths. I find it endearing, because much like real life, you have to learn to like his characters for who they are. You take the good, the bad, and wrestle with if it is worth knowing them.
In most stories the hero’s are so very clear cut, there’s no doubt in your mind they will always do the right thing, and the villains are so exaggerated, you know in your soul they are evil to their very core. Gregory Maguire takes you from these ideas of good vs evil and the clear understanding of what is black and what is white, leaving you in a world of perpetual grayness, that is truer to real life.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is worth a read, if for no other reason than to remind us all how complicated and subjective the ideas of good and evil are.

P.S.
I would have given it 5 stars, but I’m always so melancholy after reading one of his books...it makes me spiteful.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous

I have ready a number of Gregory Maguire's books, this one did it disappoint. I loved seeing this well known take through the eyes of the once reviled stepsister. Everyone has a story.

2 people found this helpful

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don't expect another story of OZ.

After reading His other books based in the land of oz I was looking forward to this new story. But unfortunately I was disappointed this is not up to its former glory in story telling

2 people found this helpful

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Not as good as Wicked

Bought this because I enjoyed Wicked. Slow at first, finally builds to an okay book. This reminds me of a hurried sequel movie that is rushed to get out while the name is still marketable.

1 person found this helpful

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one of my favorite stories

I've read the book several times years ago and just recently listened to it on audible. The ending always makes me cry. This is an amazing story. I would love to watch this as a play.

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Captivating!

Absolutely intriguing and engaging - both the story and the narration painted an indelible image that I'll always carry.

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So Glad!

This long vignette (I know, a contradiction) on the daily life of the Fisher ladies, is a smell-the-flowers paced stroll. I am glad I listened, but am even more glad that the people I have known in my life do not speak to and treat each other with such in-your-face put downs. Repartee is good entertainment but horrific as a life style. In Maguire's take, mother Margarethe's caricature can be explained by her survival instincts infused with grotesque religious sentiment.

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Good Book, Excellent Narration

This was the first book by Maguire that I ever read. I liked it very much both then and now. To my personal taste, none of his other books have been nearly as good; I remain somewhat bewildered by the massive success of “Wicked.”

The narration is absolutely fantastic in every way. Pacing, inflection, voicing of the characters, etc. Narration can make a merely-OK book a pleasure to listen to, and it can absolutely ruin an excellent book. I will definitely look for other books read by Jenny Sterling.