Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Review: Shattered Roses: A Beauty and the Beast retelling by E.L. Parfitt

Shattered Roses: A Beauty and the Beast retelling

34951371A book for all Beauty and the Beast fans! A contemporary retelling viewed through the eyes of a teenager. Sixteen year old Megan wants to be a doctor. When Megan volunteers at a residential home she meets Lady. Lady tells a fragmented and confusing story of a duke who never aged; his fate tied to the roses that grew in his garden. As Megan hears more of Lady’s tale she is intrigued to know whether the duke existed or if he is a figment of Lady’s imagination. As Megan embarks on unravelling the mystery of the beast a hidden family secret emerges... will it shatter her life forever? 

My Take:
Sixteen year old Megan wants to be a doctor. When she volunteers at a residential home she is tasked with listening to Lady, an ancient woman whose mind seems to be fractured, telling disjointed fragments of a story about a duke who never aged, a duke cursed to have his life tied to the fate of the roses in his garden.

Is the Duke real, or a figment of Lady's misty imagination? Will the magic mirror reveal the truth? As the mystery unravels, Megan learns a hidden family secret that could change her future.

Drug Content:
G - squeaky clean.

G-There is some emotional and slight physical abuse mentioned. There are a couple deaths, none graphic or described.

G - squeaky clean.

Adult Content:
PG - There is an oblique reference to a young woman alone in a room with a man, and leaving the end result to the imagination. There is some discussion of periods.  

Christian content:

Final analysis:
This was an intriguing little story, a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with quite a few changes to mix things up and make it interesting. There's more mystery than romance, though. The disjointed visits back in time actually merge well with the modern-day high school angst and family interactions between Megan, her mum, and her little sister Faiza. There are some unexpected twists that make the ending particularly interesting. i found the winter garden and the roses always in bloom to be enchanting, pun intended. Decent world-building, and Megan and Lady seem relatively life-like. Five Stars!

About the Author:
E.L. Parfitt lives an eclectic life between Scotland and France. Currently reading Frank Tayall, Surviving the evacuation series. Often heard saying, ‘If I were to be a vegetable, like Pratchett, I would probably be a carrot... but I don’t do hats’. Storytelling researcher, currently working on ‘Once upon a time. Discovering young people’s lives through storytelling’. A challenge to the current exam culture based on young people’s discussions of their complex relationship with story and their surroundings.

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