On my quest for faery tale retellings, I stumbled upon My Name Is Rapunzel.
The book title drew me in first. Everyone knows the tale of the girl locked in the tower, the girl with hair so long it could be used to climb to her window.
As far as retellings go, this novel is fantastic. It’s creative and gives Rapunzel a personality.
It tells the story of how a witch named Gretta cursed Rapunzel on the night the prince proposed to her. After the curse, she lives with her mother and father for the duration of their lives, because she herself never ages. As far as she knows, she’ll live forever preserved as a beautiful young woman, but the witch cursed her so she’ll spend this life alone.
It’s her father who puts her in the castle once he senses his time is nearly up. He wants to leave her behind in a secure place, one as happy as he can manage given the circumstances; the catch is that she must live with Gretta.
Picture it: An ugly old witch and a beautiful young woman, both doomed to eternal life frozen in those forms. And they hate each other.
Time creeps by. Soon electricity and the Internet arrive at Rapunzel’s castle. This was my favorite part, watching her adapt to the world as it changed and generations passed.
Finally it is the twenty-first century, and Rapunzel finds a newspaper column where a journalist is making fun of her story, saying faery tales are not true. Rapunzel, of course, is angry to have her struggle waved away; she writes to the journalist and, letter by letter, tells her story.
That’s when things get interesting; could she take a chance and love again?
My Name is Rapunzel left me an emotional wreck. We feel for Rapunzel and want what’s best for her. What I liked about this retelling is that towards the end, we almost feel she’s our friend.
If you like faery tales, this book is a must. It’s now one of my favorites!