Young Constanze de Brabant, more commonly called Cendrillon, was born of noble blood but raised a commoner. After her mother died in childbirth, Cendrillon’s heartbroken father disappeared, refusing to acknowledge his daughter and wishing to never again see her. When he departs, he leaves behind an infant boy. This boy, Raoul, and Cendrillon grow up together as brother and sister. Each year on their shared birthday, Cendrillon wishes for something to grow on her mother’s grave while Raoul wishes to discover who he is. The fulfillment of their wishes will surprise them all.
I’ll start by warning you that my review might be a little misleading depending on how you read it. Cendrillon and Raoul do not become sweethearts. I tell you this not as a spoiler but because hoping that they might was the one disappointment I had in the book, and I think you’ll enjoy the story more if you don’t get your hopes up in that direction. Before Midnight has jumped up to become my second favorite fairy tale retelling, surpassed only by Beauty. There was very little magical anything, which is a plus for me. Even the pumpkin carriage was very real world (a bit of an inside joke). I loved the twist on her stepmother and stepsisters. I won’t telling you what’s different, but they’re definitely not what you’re expecting. At its heart Before Midnight is a story of family and love at first sight. Very sweet. (And the farthest the romance goes is three brief kisses. ;))
Cinderella seems to be one of the most popular fairy tales to retell. What twists might you add if you were planning a retelling of the story?