Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (227 ratings)

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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
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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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    3 out of 5 stars
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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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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

1 person found this helpful

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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.

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favorite

loved it. I actually read the book years ago. Still love
it. will listen again

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Excellent.

The book and performance are awesome
check out Gregory Maguire's other books! they are just as good, if not better!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Other side of the Cinderella Tale

An enchanting read. Completely unexpected from beginning to end. Delishous. I could not put it down.