Ella lives in a magical world, and after her birth a fairy gave her a gift: obedience. Hardly to define it a gift, since Ella is now forced to obey every order she receives, otherwise she will suffer great pains.
The girl is very attached to her mother, who dies when Ella is still a girl, and her father – a serious merchant who would do anything for money – begins to see an insufferable rich woman, mother of two insufferable and evil girls.
Ella Enchanted is a smart retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale (it won the Newbery Honor prize) where Ella grows up by facing various situations, even unpleasant ones, and she shows that sometimes a girl is able to save herself, without the need of a saving prince.
The story is well-built: there are evident reference to the original fairy tale, but the story is enriched by other elements, even funny ones, like fairy Lucinda and her dramatic gift, intended for good.
Retellings are stories based on already written books / fairy tales where some elements are changed (the context, the plot development); it’s easy to find retelling of fairy tales (the most common are worldwide known).
However this Frankenstein process sometimes fails: some retellings appears to be cheesy and plain, like the link to the original story is enough to satisfy the reader.
In the following my opinions about two poor executed retellings:
Ash by Malinda Lo – based on Cinderella
Beastly by Alex Flinn inspired by Beauty and the Beast
I retelling sono quei romanzi in cui si prende qualcosa di già scritto e lo si racconta di nuovo cambiandone contesto o evoluzione della storia; è molto frequente trovare retelling di fiabe (le più note le conosce chiunque).
Non è detto che questo processo alla Frankenstein riesca sempre, quanto le Fiabe Sfatate di Antonia Romagnoli mi hanno divertito, tanto alcuni retelling risultano stucchevoli o poco elaborati, quasi bastasse il richiamo alla fiaba originale per soddisfare il lettore.
Di seguito ripropongo i commenti scritti relativamente a due retelling per me poco riusciti:
Ash di Malinda Lo che richiama Cenerentola
Beastly di Alex Flinn ispirato alla Bella e la Bestia