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read online eBook Rose DaughterAuthor Robin McKinley –

The biggest problem I had with Rose Daughter is that it dragged in a very tedious way The main offender was the heroine, Beauty The reader is stuck with her as she spends a great deal of time alone tending her roses, having nightmares, and exploring an enchanted castle Unfortunately, she lacks the spunk, vivacity, and humor of her two older sisters and makes everything even unicorns very dull The Beast isn t that interesting either He s humdrum, lacking any kind of personality When they re together, there s no chemistry, no banter, no conflict It s just plain boring Beauty and the Beast is a very well known story If writers want to retell it, I expect them to add some kind of creative spin to it Stuffing it to the brim with roses as McKinley does here, doesn t count There is a bit of mystery of how the Beast came to be a Beast, but Beauty never guesses at it or cares to investigate it Instead, she s too preoccupied with gardening and re homing stray animals She learns the story only when other people tell it to her and they tell it to her many, many times each time as uninteresting as the next This book is only acceptable for people who are unfamiliar with the fairytale Those who are should just re watch the Disney version. Robin McKinley s Rose Daughter tells the story of Beauty and the Beast, which she has already told before, and in my opinion, better, in Book Beauty She claims she felt she had to retell the story when she learnedabout roses, after cultivating them Never have I read a book before where I felt so much like the author was simply marking time until she got to the bit with the compost Manure provides an important climactic moment She certainly manages to convey what roses mean to her, but sadly, I m afraid they don t have quite that importance to me.Not to say this is a bad book I d loan it to a friend without qualms, but I wouldn t let anyone buy it new The plot is a bit of a mess it feels like she wasn t quite sure what was happening herself, so she threw in a lot of details in the hope that some of them would fall in a story shape There s no attempt at a real explanation for any of what happens, which to me is sort of the point of retelling fairy tales.It is, however, remarkable for being a book that addresses one of the most common complaints about Disney s Beauty and the Beast But telling you that complaint might constitute a minor spoiler, so stop reading now if that is a concern for you in the end, the interesting beast is not substituted for the boring prince. It Is The Heart Of This Place, And It Is Dying, Says The Beast And It Is True The Center Of The Beast S Palace, The Glittering Glasshouse That Brings Beauty Both Comfort And Delight In Her Strange New Environment, Is Filled With Leafless Brown Rosebushes But Deep Within This Enchanted World, New Life, At Once Subtle And Strong, Is About To AwakenTwenty Years Ago, Robin McKinley Dazzled Readers With The Power Of Her Novel Beauty Now This Extraordinarily Gifted Novelist Returns To The Story Of Beauty And The Beast With A Fresh Perspective, Ingenuity, And Mature Insight With Rose Daughter, She Presents Her Finest And Most Deeply Felt Work A Compelling, Richly Imagined, And Haunting Exploration Of The Transformative Power Of Love I read this book as a teenager but retained no memory of it After reading it again, I know why McKinley says in the afterward that she chose to revisit the Beauty and Beast story because she hadto say, especially about roses Well, that s about all she has to say in this book Lots about gardening, description of stuff, and cutesy wootsy little animals Other than that, nothing goes on in this book whatsoever.The problem with this book is there s just no conflict All the possible conflicts are glossed over or resolved before they even have time to get serious The impoverished family has a ridiculously easy time in the most idyllic provincial town in existence The two older sisters are paper thin archetypes of the clever one and the tomboy, and they find suitable husbands who have no personality and pretty much never show up There s some kind of a curse on the family But I still have no idea what it is But don t worry It wasn t a curse anyway Duhhh Beauty is never really mad at the Beast for threatening and kidnapping her She just figures he wouldn t have hurt her dad anyway and, hey, cool garden The Beast himself was a perfectly nice dude as a human, and got magicked into a beast as an accident No character flaws here There s some kind of villain figure with the oldest son of an important family, but no one listens to him anyway and Beauty s dad punches him with no repercussions Problem dealt with Guess it wasn t so urgent for Beauty to come home anyway In lieu of any conflict at home, Beauty loses her memories, which is the only reason she forgets the Beast s flower until it s almost too late Whoops Beauty decides to keep the beast at the end and go back to a provincial life instead of marrying a human and having influence I guess it s not bestiality except it literally is but just shows again that life is just so damn perfect.That brings up Beauty herself as a character and Good God is she annoying I know she doesn t have anyone to talk to for a lot of the book, but her incessant ramblings to every cat, bat, toad, and spider she comes across get really old And I do hope you ll be a good little spider now and not have the bad manners to leave cobwebs in my perfect garden It s that self conscious British flippancy that always sounds really pretentious Pages of it Beauty reminds me of the Butch s ditzy girlfriend Fabienne in Pulp Fiction Except, if possible,so The girl who rambles on about what she s going to eat for breakfast and how cute she d look with a potbelly but totally forgets to pack her boyfriend s super important family watch.Beast So this rose is very important Beauty And I m going to plant whole forests of roses if only I can get them to be well behaved enough little darlings, and I ll let the sweet little hedgehogs get all those troublesome slugs Beast Because I ll die when the last petal falls Beauty Aren t you a cute little kitty Oh, did you go and have kittens, you clever thing Beast Are you even listening Beauty Something about a rose Roses can only be grown by those with magic, and I usually don t care a thing for magic The additions McKinley does make to the story, such as the background about the witch who owned the cottage and some kind of war between sorcerers not too clear on what actually happened don t seem to add much to the story Whenever McKinley gets too much into magic, it always gets messy and a ton of seemingly symbolic things happen but it all seems kind of random.This is always the problem with McKinley She starts out with an interesting premise and evocative language, but gets bogged down in description and unnecessary animal sidekicks, only to end with a convoluted It s magic, bitch because she can t stand not to hand her characters everything on a silver platter.Stick to the first book Sweet and simple Unfortunately, Rose Daughter is McKinley at her most infuriating. If you can believe it, this was my first Robin McKinley novel I know But the good thing is, I found it absolutely lovely, and I know that when I get to Beauty, I ll love it, too, especially knowing how the rest of you adore it I ve been told before that this author s work is right up my alley, and it really is lyrical and haunting, full of magic and folklore I ll definitely be making time to check out the author s backlist, including her other BatB retelling. what a mess a slow, painful, overly descriptive mess it took me F.O.R.E.V.E.R to get into it and then once i did, i found the story only remotely interesting AND even that was like pulling teeth to get through why does she fall in love with him because of 6 or 7 encounters and conversations what s with all the animals and the cat that gave birth on her bed while she was sleeping gross burn those sheets i know there had to be some allusions and whatever with all her descriptions of the house and the unicorn and whatever but i just didn t care to plod through them NOTHING was clear not even a few gimmes for those of us that need some obvious direction the story dump in the last 50 pages all the details that the old lady reveals to beauty s mind would have been REALLY helpful dispersed throughout the story the dream vision whatever when beauty is climbing on the roof what in the world was going on why does she LEAVE the beast when she needs answers and go to her sisters who don t know anything why didn t she just ask him when he said that he would tell her and the curse that wasn t a curse BLAH this is making me angry and the magic apparently it you just call it all magic, that takes care of everything don t read it just enjoy her other telling of beauty and the beast, beauty a retelling of the story of beauty and the beast. The second of McKinley s Beauty and the Beast retellings.BtB is a problematic story arguably a Stockholm Syndrome romance but there are other aspects of the story that also interest me, which are brought to the forefront when reading two retellings of the story by the same author The similarities and differences, and the message we re supposed to take from the story view spoiler Love as a curse breaker is the first core of this story, and for that you really have to sell the reasons this girl falls for the monstrous creature that threatened her father s life, and then every night asks her to marry him, but cannot explain why I think Rose Daughter is weaker on this aspect Beauty has only seven days to get to know the Beast, and spends only a very little time with him and he barely speaks during the climax of the story Although his roof painting is a wonderful character moment, a lot of the romance appears to revolve around feeling very sorry for a very sad person In the Beauty version of the story, we are giveninteraction, and a shared interest in their love of reading that makes the romanceconvincing.Family is the second major theme Beauty in both stories is torn between love of her family and eventually her time with the Beast The two sets of sisters are very different both very loveable, though who can resist the set that includes Braveheart, roaring about, and getting a job as a stablehand It s easy to read this dilemma as as straightforward allusion to any marriage, separating a girl from her family to go to her husband s house That s a separation that happens often enough, without any intervention from curses or Beasts.One major different between McKinley s two retellings is the conclusion In both stories we have the classic rich merchant falls on hard times, travels to country, encounter with Beast, sacrifice of Beauty, romance, separation, and reunion bringing the breaking of the curse But Rose Daughter s curse breaking leaves the Beast in the form of a Beast, and instead of Beauty and her family being brought to the now unenchanted palace, the Beast moves in to Beauty s cottage This fits in with the difference in the sisters wealth and the city were bad for the family at the heart of the tale Beauty was retiring Jewel Tongue s words were viciously edged Lionheart s courage edged into violence The two elder sisters weren t nice people, and a plunge into desperate poverty is seen as the making of them At the conclusion of the story Beauty is directly given a choice between wealth, power and a beautiful husband or a simple village life with a man still trapped in the form of the beast That last opens up whole reams of questions about their sex life and species of children and so forth It s a very very very common theme that wealth ruins people, but it never quite rings wholly true for me Wealth is freedom from drudgery and meaningless labour, is a chance to pursue matters artistic and intellectual and it is tremendously convenient in Rose Daughter that Jewel Tongue discovers a love and talent for sewing, and Lionheart becomes less of an ass when her pride has been knocked down and Beauty s love of roses just happens in this world to be a highly profitable concern, rather than an indulgence in a garden that could beusefully given over to vegetables.Of course, perhaps my view of power and wealth has been tempered by growing up without it.Even ignoring the choice between corrupting power and a wholesome country life, Rose Daughter is by far thescattered of McKinley s two versions of BtB It interestingly includes its own two versions of the same story , with the Squire s son producing a dismissive and misogynistic version of the history of the curse this whole episode provides the reason for Beauty s urgent return and falls flat, feeling artificial as a means of bringing the plot to crisis point.There are some particularly delightful parts, however McKinley builds a fascinating world thoroughly soaked in magic I loved the frog tide, and really enjoyed Beauty s father bringing his horse into the palace with him for company hide spoiler Definitely not my favourite of McKinley s works I thought I d like itthan Beauty, and in one sense I do, in that something that bothers me about the ending of Beauty is addressed here and a different sort of ending written I like the world, the sisters, the domestic stuff that as usual McKinley shines with I liked the castle and Beauty s work there, and the way other little bits of fairytale lore come in like her experiential seven days spent in the Beast s castle versus seven months for her sisters It s also notable that the way Beauty and the Beast relate to each other is very similar to in Beauty the differences arein acomplicated setup with slightly different inputs producing a slightly different trajectory.My main complaint the first time I read this was that the greenwitch at the end has far too much explaining to do, in quite a short span of pages, and that remains problematic to me Some things needed a bitopening out, foreshadowing, something, to prevent a long stretch of infodump via dialogue.Still enjoyable, though, and the writing is gorgeous, of course. 2.5 stars The first half wasn t that bad.Actually, mid way through this book I thought it was pretty good, and I was sure that this one was going to end up wrangling 4 or 5 stars out of me Oh well, I ve been wrong before Several things happened that lowered my enjoyment level down to nothing, and they all happened toward the end First, it s not like the pace in Rose Daughter was very fast to begin with, but I was dealing with it admirably, I thought You know how sometimes the beginning of a book drags and you can t get into it Or in the middle of a story it sloooooows down to a crawl, and you just want to scream Get on with it alreadyWell, in Rose Daughter it was the ending thatum, wouldn t end I can t recall another book I ve read where the pacing was like that The ending was booooring For example, there s the part when she goes back to find Beast and tell him she loves him, but she gets lost in the magical house or whatever it is It took forever to get her from point A to point B And we hear about all of it Every Convoluted Minute What she tastes, what she smells, what she hears, what she feels, what she thinks, how many times she weeps, and last but not least what the people in the paintings are wearing Pages and pages of it Are there actual readers out there who care about that stuffThere must be, otherwise McKinley wouldn t have sold such a boatload of books On the upside, if you like to skim when you read, then this is the book for you Never fear, Dear Reader, you won t miss out on some important detail, because none of it matters Ok, even with such a slow pace, I probably wouldn t have rated it so low, but the ending creeped me out Ugh Awful view spoiler See, the Beast doesn t turn back into a human at the end WTF Now I know there are some people out there going Oh, but looks aren t everything I think it s sweet that Beauty loved him just the way he wasNo It s skeevy and gross They are not even the same species, people Ewwwwwww When I was seven years old, and thought that being married meant that your BFF was a boy, it wouldn t have freaked me out to think about Beauty getting married to an actual Beast.Why Cause I didn t know about sex yet, and I didn t know married people had it, that s why So, as Beauty was stroking his giant hairy ass paw at the end, and telling him how happy their marriage was going to be urp hide spoiler I talk about my love for Robin McKinley s books a lot I know everyone s read Beauty It was her first book It s essentially a classic of fairy tale retellings now And I love it and will always love it for giving me a Beauty who was not beautiful and avoided mirrors at all cost and a Beast with a library of books from all the ages, including ones that hadn t even been written yet Makes my little heart sing just thinking of it and the way I absorbed it when I was twelve But fewer people are as familiar with Ms McKinley s second retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast If you have a free moment, it s really worth hopping over to her site to read the wonderful essay, The Story Behind Rose Daughter It s lovely When I discovered she was returning to her favorite fairy tale twenty years later and giving it a fresh new take in an entirely new novel, my skin tingled with anticipation And not a little curiosity at just how she would give the story she d done so well by a fresh take and whether or not it would capture my imagination the way the original did People seem to be very divided on their loyalties to these two books Some would fight to the death for Beauty and don t give ROSE DAUGHTER a second glance Others feel quite the opposite and gravitate toward the slightlylush second version I ve listened to these conversations As for me, my heart is big enough to love them both And I am so glad she wrote both books Because someone who understands and loves that particular fairy tale the way it seems she does should never stop telling it, in my opinion I would read a third and a fourth version and I will re read these two for the rest of my life Her earliest memory was of waking from the dream It was also her only clear memory of her mother. Beauty and her two older sisters Jeweltongue and Lionheart live with their father in the city Their lives have been rather gentle ones, filled with plenty to eat, soft beds, and the best society has to offer Though they lost their mother early on, they have managed to make a good life with their father, each pursuing the hobbies and talents they love, as represented by their names Lionheart is brave and strong and loves riding and sportthan anything else Jeweltongue knows exactly what to say in every situation, sets people at ease, and sews and embroiders the most beautiful dresses Beauty loves nature She loves flowers and gardens and especially roses, in all their varieties and iterations, because they remind her of her mother Then tragedy strikes Their father loses all his wealth and they are forced to move to tiny Rose Cottage far away in the countryside The sisters talents are put to good use earning what meager money they can and their lives are changed in starkly unimaginable ways But nonethan Beauty s All her life she s had the same dream More of a nightmare, really In which she is walking down a long hallway, uncertain of the mystery she will find behind that final door, but dreading it all the same and filled with the terror that she will both eventually get there and not get there in time The usual events follow and Beauty takes her father s place and finds herself living in the Beast s home, where his lovely rose garden is dying But, of course, everything isthan meets the eye, and Beauty will, in the end, have to make the hardest decision of all.Roses are for love Not silly sweet hearts love but the love that makes you and keeps you whole, love that gets you through the worst your life ll give you and that pours out of you when you re given the best instead.Sigh I love this book so much It is, without a doubt, aadult retelling of the fairy tale And I don t mean that there is any potentially objectionable in it at all I merely mean that you can feel the depth of experience and emotion in the work, which I think represents what the author brings to the tale twenty years after she first retold it The sisters feel a bit older, a bitmature, though I always love that McKinley represents them as loving and kind to one another and as in the whole thing together The Beast himself feelsancient to me, closer to the end of his long existence, and we get evenbackground information on how he came to be the way he was and what his interminable penance has really been like And the love of beauty and gardens and all living things permeates the page in such a way that I, who am the most unskilled and amateur of gardeners, go looking for a spade and seeds the minute I put the book down The language in ROSE DAUGHTER swallows me up as well I find myself eternally charmed by the archetypal names and the various village denizens the girls encounter Miss Trueword, Mrs Words Without End, Mrs Bestcloth Each personality is distinct and you can tell that they each have their own vital stories playing out, even as the focus remains on Beauty and her path Each time I read it, I relish getting lost with her in the ever changing castle that is the Beast s home, as the words and the corridors wrap their twisty novelty around me and the heady magic that suffuses the place and the world has its way with me The romance is wonderful and just as it should be The magic is dense and carefully woven And the descriptions so visual I can call them to mind on any given day, so vibrant are the impressions they made on me And the ending, you say Well, you shall have to find out for yourself To me, it is perfect I m interested what it is to you.