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Publisher's Summary

In this imaginative novel rooted in the rich soil of early 19th-century German Romanticism, beloved New York Times best-selling author Gregory Maguire twins an origin legend of the famous Nutcracker with the life of Drosselmeier, the toymaker who carves him.

Gregory Maguire's novels have been called "bewitching", "remarkable", "extraordinary", "engrossing", "amazing", and "delicious". Having brought his legions of devoted listeners to Oz in Wicked, Wonderland in After Alice, and Dickensian London in Lost, Maguire now takes us to the Black Forest of Bavaria and Munich of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffman.

Hiddensee recreates the backstory of the Nutcracker, reimaging how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how it magically guided an ailing little girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a snowy Christmas Eve. It also brings to life the mysterious godfather Drosselmeier - the ominous, canny, one-eyed toymaker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's ballet - who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism a migrating strain of a Hellenic mystery-cult and ponders a profound question: how a person who is abused by life, short-changed, and challenged can access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless. Ultimately, Hiddensee offers a message of hope. If the compromised godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized on the eve of a winter holiday, has something precious to share.

©2017 Gregory Maguire (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I wanted to love this and I tried

I first read Maguire when Wicked was published and have read every book he’s published. I’ve loved almost all of them. I was excited to see this but the reviews had me puzzled. Still I downloaded it because I’m a big fan of his storytelling.

That’s why I’m sad to say this book just wasn’t good. The narration was excellent and that may be the only reason I pushed through. The story has potential but just goes nowhere at all. I’m not even sure what, besides the location, this has to do with The Nutcracker. I kept waiting for explanations or connections that just NEVER happened. It’s like the publisher had some leftover stuff and threw this together and called it a novel. When it ended I actually had to go backwards a chapter or two because I couldn’t believe it was done. I thought I missed something but nope, just....not good. And I’m the last person that wants to write this about Maguire.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Hiddensee review

I struggled to finish. I don't like Gregory Maguire as a story teller. The characters are not likeable and the storyline doesn't flow. He somehow made Germany and the story of the nutcracker boring. I was disappointed I listened to this book. The narrator is articulate and does a good job reading.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Definitly not a childrens Fairy Tale

Very sexual, sad, and slightly dark. Story of lost childhood. Deals with many uncomfortable issues such as suicide and incest.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Enthralling!!!!!

Loved it! As usual, Gregory has made a fabulous story!! Never have I been unhappy with his writing!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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loved it

I've enjoyed every Gregory Maguire story I've read so far. I love how he retells these old stories and makes them new with a fresh perspective. I can't wait to read or listen to another.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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What a disappointment

I’ve read every one of Maguire’s works. This one’s slow, dull, and with no payoff. If you’re a Maguire fan, don’t bother.

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    3 out of 5 stars

So so

Not my favorite book from him. At times it was hard to follow along, had to re-listen to parts of it twice.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another great tale by Maguire

I will never watch the Nutcracker Ballet without thinking of this spin on it. It is not a child's tale but is a wonderful tale for those which love a rich fictional account of "what really happened"!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • la
  • Wallkill, NY USA
  • 12-11-17

Hidden see

This was enjoyable....a tale for adults. The ending made this long tale worth waiting for.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not my cup of tea

This was not my cup of tea. I would have stopped but since it was for my book club I finished. I did not like the author’s symbolisms and fairytales. The only saving grace for me was that the reader was wonderful.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful