Friday, October 22, 2010

Ella Enchanted

Hosted by Irena at This Miss Loves to Read.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Last week I talked about the movie which bares little resemblance to the book beyond character names and a few plot details.  I loved the book when I first read it (I was probably about 10?) and then I didn't like it and now my favorite part is the end.  Ella has a gift/curse from a fairy to be obedient.  Throughout her life, her stepmother and stepsisters have used this to hurt her.  She has suffered numerous degradations as she tries to break it.  She has even almost lost her love Prince Char due to the sisters' machinations.  But at the end he proposes and she wants to say yes so bad; in fact everyone is imploring her to say yes but she continues to resist, imagining how enemies could hurt Char and the country through her if she marries him with her obedience intact.  Luckily she is able to break it and she gets to marry her prince and raise a family.

Beyond the Cinderella parallels, there are other traditional fairy tale elements such as fairies, giants, trolls and a quest.  Ella is a smart, loyal, and kind young woman who works hard in order to overcome the obstacles in her life.  I would definitely recommend this book to everyone!


  1. I love Ella Enchanted and it was one of my first retelling. Since then when I hear of another retelling I grab it. I was very much taken with Alex Flinn's two retellings of Beastly and A Kiss in Time. I loved these books so much I have created a unit for my students where they are comparing and contrast one of these book with the original tale. Great post thanks!

  2. I will have to read this book because I really love the movie, it's so sweet. I think the idea is very original, that a girl's "gift" is obedience, which is often poor Ella's curse. The Cinderella parallels and allusions to other fairy-tales are really lovely. Thanks for sharing!


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