I was led to believe this was a fairy story. The cover, the back of the book, everything led me to believe this was a dark "sorta fairytale" I could sink my teeth into. Au contraire.
The Godmother, by Carolyn Turgeon is a look at the psychology behind a fairy godmother who not only falls in love with Prince Charming herself, but ultimately feels better suited for him as well.
Lil is a fairy godmother cast out of her rich, lustrous fairy world and forced to live her days disguised as an old lumpy woman on earth because she didn't fulfill her mission to unite Cinderella and Prince Charming. Every day she binds her wings painfully and looks for signs, glimpses that somewhere, her ethereal fairy sisters are still aware of her, coming for her.
Through a series of flashbacks, we see Lil's fairy world before she chose poorly, the clear lake the fairies sleep under, the exquisite rush of flying over the human world, the tantalizing look at first love when she sees Theodore (Prince Charming) for the first time and a hypnotizingly dark Cinderella who has more issues than we've been led to believe. These flashbacks reveal bits of the story and begin to parellel Lil's present situation in the "real world" when she decides to bring two lonely people together. She figures if she can help these two interesting people find each other, she will be forgiven and be allowed to return at last. She is tired, she is old and having to remain in the human world is a drudgery she can bear no longer.
This story should be silly. We're talking about fairies and Prince Charming and Cinderella. But it is deep and dark and sensual in its magic. I found myself whirled into a vast and beautiful world I had no desire to leave. I wanted desperately for Lil to return, to be her gorgeous fairy self again, to see Theodore, to find what was taken.
So how did it go wrong? I will not reveal the final chapter but found myself actually a little miffed that I had been manipulated so completely and I found myself in a bad mood for days. There was no magic, the climax was absolutely not worthy of the author's talents. I've read plenty of books I didn't like and then quickly forgot. But this book was in my top five favorites by the second to last chapter -- and then failed absolutely. I was ready to buy a copy for all of my friends and give it to my friends for Christmas. But this is not one I'll be recommending or reading again. Sigh. A real shame because I still want to go to the fairy world, I still want to see Theodore and I still want Lil to be the fire-haired goddess she used to be.
But this book shows you -- you can't have everything.
2 stars out of 5