The Godmother: Fairy tales with a dash of social consciousness

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Elizabeth Ann Scarborough The GodmotherThe Godmother by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

In traditional fairy tales, fairy godmothers show up when they are least expected but most needed, to right wrongs and assist those in peril. Enter Felicity Fortune. Summoned to Seattle by a sweet but burned-out young social worker named Rose, she sets out to solve problems both modern and ageless with magic and kindness.

Felicity discovers many young people in danger in the city. Hank and Gigi have been abandoned by their mother and kidnapped by a child molester. Cindy has just been fired from her job by her own stepsisters and booted out of her family home. Snohomish is hiding in the woods from a hit man hired by her jealous supermodel stepmom. Dico is living on the streets, unable to get any breaks… until he meets a magic cat. Any of this sound familiar? ;)

In this entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking novel, we see that today’s problems are not as new as we might think, echoing situations that have appeared in folktales for hundreds of years, and we learn that a little kindness goes a long way. One caveat: Elizabeth Ann Scarborough can get a little sledgehammer-ish with her political views. I tend to agree with her politics, but even to me, the character of Rose sometimes sounds more like an editorial than a normal human being making conversation. Still, I found this relatively easy to overlook.

I recommend The Godmother to anyone who likes retold fairy tales with a dash of social consciousness.


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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One comment

  1. I’m going to have to check this out.

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