Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beauty by Kerascoet & Hubert

The genius behind Miss Don't Touch Me went at it again and I couldn't be happier. Beauty is another timeless treasure with all the charm of a the unabashed fairy tale. Now available in English for the first time, you have to get your hands on this beautifully bound book.

The story is about a young girl, deemed unfortunate looking and suffering through her peasant status in the country side. She's scorned by those around her for smelling of fish. However, by helping out a faerie she is granted her one true wish, to be beauty. Although there are some catches there.. I will not spoil that part for you.

I was swept away in a character who reminded me of my own feelings about growing up. How innocents can be so easily misled. Coddie was a sweet girl of pure intentions who listens to the reasoning of Faerie Mab. She unfortunately does not have the pure intentions but urges Coddie to seek riches through manipulation. She reasons that Coddie is deserves more than just to be the wife of a humble lord. She convinces her that Coddie would not be doing this gift justice. Of course the poor girl doesn't wish to disappoint the faerie. She's met with an onslaught of obstacles as she struggles to find the happiness she thought the gift of beauty would bring while also appeasing Mab.

These types of stories remind me of my initial reaction to the Cinderella story. Being four years of age and yelling at the evil step sisters for tearing Cinderella's dress.. Yelling at a screen of course. This story is more adult in the sense that there are much more serious and realistic consequences to having beauty. It shows how a woman is treated by others whether she is pretty or unattractive, showing the double edged sword quite perfectly. This problems doesn't just exist in fairy tales or feudal times making the story universally relevant.

As Coddie deals with the reaction of others to her perceived beauty and struggles to free herself of the scrutiny of others it's where she ends up that affects the story. It's the ending that ultimately makes this story stand out far from the traditional modern fairy tale and giving women a positive outlook independent of others. Bravo! I couldn't be happier with this ending.