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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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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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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

  • Overall
  • 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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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.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful