Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister: A Novel

Kobo ebook | March 17, 2009

byGregory Maguire

not yet rated|write a review

Is this new land a place where magics really happen?

From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second novel, a brilliant and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella tale.

In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats....

We all have heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty . . . and what curses accompanied Cinderella's exquisite looks?

Extreme beauty is an affliction

Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.

Clara was the prettiest child, but was her life the prettiest tale?

While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, burning all memories of her past, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household--and the treacherous truth of her former life.

God and Satan snarling at each other like dogs.... Imps and fairy godmotbers trying to undo each other's work. How we try to pin the world between opposite extremes!

Far more than a mere fairy-tale, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed--and love unveiled--in the most unexpected of places.

Pricing and Purchase Info


Available for download
Not available in stores

From the Publisher

Is this new land a place where magics really happen?From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second novel, a brilliant and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella tale.In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn ...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:March 17, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061762598

ISBN - 13:9780061762598


Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's not Wicked but it is Ugly! Awesome Maguire-ing of another classic tale, very entertaining. Wicked is still his best work though so read it too
Date published: 2015-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful retelling I love the twist in the story as well as the deep backstory of each character. There's always more than 1 side to each story.
Date published: 2014-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An old tale well revisited. The spin Maguire puts on this fairy tale is engaging and captivating with some nice twists and turns. Loved it!
Date published: 2014-09-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Still haven't finished reading it yet! I am still in the process of trying to finish this book. This is my second attempt. I haven't read Wicked, but thought I'd try this one first since I love Cinderella. It's not that the book is poorly written, but I find that the start just isn't enaging. I do not want to read until the end. To those who are interested in purchasing this particular one, wait until is really goes on sale or get it from the library. You money is better spent on another book.
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Twisted...! Gregory Maguire has a way of transforming and twisting (in a fantastic manner!) the fairy tales we all read when we were 3 feet tall into these adult fairy tales that are so enjoyable to read. Confession of an Ugly Stepsister is a prequel to the beloved story of Cinderella, the poor little sister who in the fairy tale is bossed around and treated unfairly by her two big, ugly stepsisters. In that fairy tale Cinderella was the victim, she was the center of the story, the stepsisters so hastily pushed aside. Maguire takes these two castaway stepsisters and speaks of their life before they came to be upon big riches and blunt attitudes. His story almost makes one sympathize with these sisters and realize why they are they way they are in Cinderella. This book is a great read - for those of us that loved our fairy tales when we were children and for others that are willing to try!
Date published: 2008-06-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Great Spin I love Gregory Maguire! He's remade all of our favorite fairy tales Adult style! You'll know what story you're really reading, but be ready for all new twists and turns!
Date published: 2007-11-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wicked was Better Not as pleased with this novel as I was with Wicked, but it was still worth reading. Not one of his best pieces of literature (if you would like to call it that). This book really has no thinking to it; it's more of a book that you can read over different spans of time and not be lost in the story. Nothing of what you’d call a “page turner”
Date published: 2006-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An interesting novel I first discovered Gregory Maguire through my love for the musical "Wicked". After reading that book and this one, I've come to the conclusion that Maguire's style of writing is an acquired taste, it's kind of fantastical and sometimes unnecessarily descriptive. However, the books that he writes can be enjoyed by everybody because of the familiar stories that he chooses to adapt. This is the case with "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" in which he writes about the story of Cinderella through the eyes of one of the infamous stepsisters. The story is compelling and intriguing (partly because you already know how it's supposed to end and now you're wondering whether the formerly deemed "evil" character will get a happy ending too) and that fact propels you through some chapters and storylines that may seem a bit lagging. This new take on the timeless tale does give some interesting new discoveries on the character of Cinderella ("Clara" in this version) and shatters some classic fairytale tropes. If you liked Maguire's other novels (I personally think "Confessions" was better than "Wicked"), you will enjoy this one as well and if you haven't read his books before, this is the perfect one to start with!
Date published: 2006-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME!!!!! I was telling my friend that I had no books to read while at work. She gave me Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, I wasnt too sure about it at first but I thought what the heck I'll try reading it. Oh my Gosh once I started reading it I just couldnt put it down!!! It is by far one of the best books that I've read and it is one of my most favourite books. I recommed it to anyone who loves to read and another who doesnt. I dont think I will ever be able to look at the story of Cinderella the same again, it really makes you think about things. All I can say is it was an amazing book, and everyone should read it. I cant wait to read the rest of the books that Gregory Maguire has written!
Date published: 2006-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! My friend recommed this book to me, and oh my gosh it was sooo amazing. I dont usually read much but lately I've been reading more and more, and I've read Confessions twice now. I wasnt sure about it at first, but now its one of my favourite books. I dont think I'll look at the Cinderella story the same again. I cant wait to read more of Gregory Maguire's books.
Date published: 2006-03-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Confessions This book i found very hard to get into. A few of my friends were reading it at the same time as me and i think they are all still stuck on page 90! If you can get past the first 100-120 pages it actually turns out to be a very good story. I liked this book better than Gregory Maguires 'Wicked'. Overall, it's a good read if you are willing to give it a chance.
Date published: 2005-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOWOWOWOWOW! what an amazing read.. it is captivating, yet also quite moving and funny at the same time this may be the best book i've ever read
Date published: 2005-03-22