Sunday, 12 June 2011

Into the Woods

Somehow twisting up fairy tales into a whole new braid never gets old especially when the braid involves a mixture of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Hansel and Gretel, A bit of the Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White. Lyn Gardner writes a fictional story with action, mystery, a little bit of romance, and adventure leaving the readers thinking what other fairy tales does the author have in store for them when they are reading the book. Lyn Gardner takes the fairy tales and blends them together into a fictional story that readers will not say, “not another fairy tale”

The story opens up with the Storm, middle sister, and Aurora, older sister, living with their parents and enjoying a semi-happy life. Aurora does most of the housework since their mother really never does anything but sleep, look at herself in the mirror, and eat chocolate truffles in bed. Zella, mother, is truly a neglectful mother. She has never been a mother to her children. Their father is always studying and going out on expeditions. The girls mother dies during labor leaving the family behind with another girl. She also leaves Storm with a pipe saying, “Look after it, Storm...It’s not a trinket. Whatever you do, don’t let it fall into the wrong hands.” After their mother passed away, the girls father never changed. He still went about his routine and never thought to look once at his daughters. The girls asked him one day what they should name their baby sister and he said name her anything. Never giving what he said a thought, the girls named their baby sister, Anything. Soon their father embarks on another expedition leaving the three girls behind by themselves. For some time, things went smoothly. Everything was great and Any was growing up fine too, but one day Dr. DeWilde enters Eden End, their home, and he’s not here to be their guardian. He’s here for the Pipe. The pipe that Storm’s mother told her to not let it fall into anyone’s hands. This starts the adventure with more fairy tales and also we start asking ourselves just how sweet and safe our home is.

Storm is a brave and tenacious girl who loves being outdoors and staying active. She is completely unlike her sister, Aurora. Aurora loves to stay home, cook and clean. And Any is a brilliant child. She taught herself how to read before Aurora could teach her. Aurora is constantly challenged in the story. She has to constantly step outside of her comfort zone if she wants to save Any and bring her back from Dr. DeWilde. Storm, on the other hand, has to take the lead and do the dangerous things, but she doesn’t mind it because it makes her feel important. It seems like the roles are switched when the adventure begins. Storm takes the lead many times and Aurora sits back; even though, Aurora is the older sister and should be taking the lead. Nevertheless, the bonds between the sisters get stronger once they realize just how important their relationship is with each other.

Storm and Aurora are plunged into one dangerous thing after another. Lyn Gardner also writes vivid descriptions to create the whole picture while keeping the writing style simple yet challenging with the length of the book for the children. She adds dimensions to the plot and a brilliant twist at the end of the story. The author shows us how important the bond between sisters are especially when no guardian is present in their lives.

Into the Woods stays true to its name. The girls are plunged into the woods after Dr. DeWilde who shows up at Eden End. Lyn Gardner writes an action, adventure novel giving the fairy tales a twist that will have the readers reading well into the night.

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