- Virginia Johnson
Why didn’t Cinderella’s father protect her from the “wicked” stepmother? And surely the prince wasn’t the first handsome boy she laid eyes on! Besides all that, do wishes magically happen? In Cameron Dokey’s Before Midnight, a reworking of the Cinderella story, all of these questions are wonderfully explored.
Cendrillon’s (Cinderella’s) father and mother had a legendary love. When her mother died just hours after she was born, Etienne de Brabant took it . . . badly. He cursed his late wife’s garden, swore that he never wanted to see their baby daughter, and took off for a divided court, leaving behind another baby—a boy whose identity he did not reveal.
Sixteen years pass, with the young people and their faithful servants living kindly and plainly at a great manor house by the storm-tossed sea. Cendrillon makes her birthday wish—for a mother to love and two sisters. When a travel-stained carriage arrives with the new lady of the manor and her daughters, naturally they take Cendrillon and the foster boy Raoul for servants.
With true love, misunderstandings, magical wishes, and potentially lethal court intrigue, Before Midnight has reimagined a classic story quite successfully, making it far richer than the folktale that Disney spun into a children’s fantasy, complete with singing mice.
If you enjoy what’s been done with this retelling, check out the others in the Once Upon a Time series, including Beauty Sleep, Snow, Midnight Pearls, Golden, The Diamond Secret, Violet Eyes, and The Night Dance.