Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Goose Girl

Hale, Shannon. 2003. The Goose Girl.

Drawing from the richness of the Grimms fairy tale 'The Goose Girl,' Hale expands the simple story of a bride's mistaken identity into a beautiful, romantic novel adding new layers of depth to an already promising tale. Whether the reader is familiar with the Grimms' text or not, they can't help but be swept up into the story of the bravery and strength of a young princess robbed of her title, her groom, and her freedom by a lady in waiting who has been waiting for a chance all along to betray her.

Anidori Kiladra Talianna Isilee was born to be Crown Princess. Raised to be the future queen of Kildenree. But plans change when her father dies and her mother arranges her marriage with a foreign prince in order to ensure peace for another generation. Ani accepts her fate with patience and hope. Hope that her new country, her husband will treat her well. But on the long journey to her new home, Selia, her lady in waiting, charms the royal guard and plans a violent upheaval before they arrive in Bayern. Escaping with only her life, Ani must take on a new identity until one day when she can reclaim what rightfully belongs to her.

Her disguise? What better way to stay hidden than to work as a goose girl tending the flocks of the king and queen. As "Isi" (her new name) befriends her fellow workers, she begins to discover new things about herself. New strengths. New determination. New confidence.

What the reader discovers while reading The Goose Girl is that 'happily ever after' endings don't come easily. And that the journey to 'happy endings' are often paved with disappointment, frustration, injustices, and unexpected difficulties.

Grimm 089: The Goose Girl
The Annotated Goose Girl
Shannon Hale's Official Site Page for Goose Girl with discussion guide, deleted scenes and chapters, quizzes, etc.

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