The Odd Sisters
WOW! What an astounding tale!
After finishing Mother Knows Best, I was quite anxious to learn the fate of the odd sisters. Serena Valentino took me on a journey of incredible discovery.
The Odd Sisters is the story of Circe and Snow White and their search for answers about Circe’s mothers. Circe must decide the fate of Lucinda, Ruby, and Martha, and Snow White wants to make sure Circe knows the whole story.
Their journey takes them to “The Beginning,” described as “a celestial landscape filled with stars and swirling constellations.” The Beginning sounded so beautiful that I closed my eyes so I could go there – even if only for a moment.
Circe knows that all the kingdoms have been touched by her mothers’ evil. Circe also feels responsible because her mothers, in their minds, felt that everything they did – all the death and destruction – was justified because they were doing it out of love for Circe and their desire to keep her for themselves.
Throughout their search for answers and solutions, Snow White reads everything she can, especial The Book of Fairy Tales. Snow White comes across a story titled “The Mourning Box.” As she reads, her heart aches for Gothel. “The Mourning Box” puts Mother Knows Best into perspective. Unfortunately, pages have been ripped out of the book to keep the truth from being discovered. Snow believes that she must find the missing pages in order to truly understand not only Gothel’s story but also that of the odd sisters, and ultimately Circe.
Circe and Snow return to Gothel’s house to check on Mrs. Tiddlebottom and to see if Snow can find the missing pages among Gothel’s books and journals. What they discover is even more surprising – and unexpected. Primrose and Hazel, Gothel’s sisters, have awakened from their death sleep after many, may years. Mrs. Tiddlebottom tells Circe and Snow that the sisters went home. Circe and Snow have no choice but to return to the dead woods.
As Snow searches the library for the missing pages, Circe finds Hazel and Primrose outside their crypts reading the words Jacob had inscribed. “Sisters. Together. Forever.” The sisters were expecting Circe and were happy to see her. They also reassure her that Jacob would want her to wake him, so she does.
Jacob is visibly shaken when asked about the missing pages from “The Mourning Box.” After all, “The Mourning Box” is a tragic story of a love that wasn’t lost, but was violently ripped away. This is Jacob’s story, and his story explains everything.
The Odd Sisters broke my heart. “The Mourning Box” was especially heart breaking. In discovering the truth about the odd sisters, I developed a much better understanding of Gothel and her mother Manea. Mother Knows Best makes much more sense to me now than when I read it.
I know I’ve said this in previous reviews, but Serena Valentino is a very talented story teller. The way she has connected the back stories of all these “villains” is so very unexpected. She brings elements to these characters that make the reader feel bad for the villains. Maybe Maleficent isn’t the only villain that is incredibly misunderstood. Maybe some of them aren’t villains after all.
Another aspect of Serena Valentina’s writing is her word usage. I cannot think of another author (at least at the moment) who uses words like “discombobulated” and “skullduggery.” The Odd Sisters starts out as a fun read. As I read further into this fairy tale, I became intrigued. My emotions were all over the place with this book. (At one point I was wishing Nanny would throat punch The Fairy Godmother just once.) Serena Valentino’s The Odd Sisters took me on the kind of journey I want to take every time I pick up a book.