Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon
(from the back of the book)
Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings – the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming.
But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world. But then one day she meets Veronica – a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men – and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she’s been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for…
A dark twist on the Cinderella story. Poor Lil, once Cinderella’s godmother, has been banished from her fairy home to a life among mortals and the story switches between her two lives. You get to see her life as a fairy and the events that led to her banishment parallel to her life as a human and her efforts to get back to her fairy home. Lil is likeable and you feel for her as she aches for what she has lost and you wonder what she could have possibly done to be banished from her home. It is a sometimes heartbreaking story about loss and the search for redemption. Although based on the Cinderella story this is a unique story all of Turgeon’s own and I enjoyed the small things about the fairies, living under water, the fact that they have different kinds of wings, that made them different then ones I had read about before. In both story lines you can feel something coming. You are aware from the beginning that something goes wrong with Cinderella and in the human world you can see Lil start to fall apart. It fills them with tension and foreboding, almost dread, of the crash you know is coming. It grabs your attention and pulls you along to the stunning conclusions to both, conclusions that you anticipate but somehow still don’t see coming. I really enjoyed the book but it is not to be read if you are looking for happily ever after.