The Faraway collection has now gripped me well. Just completed the last story of the series – The Wickeds by Gayle Forman. This storytelling can be said to be closest to a perfect fairytale re-imagination.
Who are the Wickeds? We have all met them before – in the story of the famous princesses. The evil queen who hated Snow White for the beauty she could not possess; the stepmother who tortured the innocent Cinderella and the witch mother who kidnapped Rapunzel. They are mothers but not the ideal ones. They are the villains we grew up on.
But every story has two sides. Have we heard the point of view of these vilified women? Gayle Forman introduces the version of the wicked – where the women bear the burden of beauty, the Fairy Godmother is an astute businesswoman, and the fathers are not what they might seem. And finally, we are talking about issues like gaslighting, how the same job done by a man turns him into a hero, and a woman is shamed for it. We also meet the brother-sisters, Jack, and Jill. They have grown up with Jack a little affected in the head due to his famous fall. The ensemble cast was endearing.
What I Liked
The beautiful friendship that these so-called wickeds forge. For ages, patriarchy has popularized the idea of a woman being the enemy of another woman. Because when a woman stands for another woman it is difficult to rule over them. A part of me was almost plotting an idea where these wickeds would have connected each other via some online group and changed the course of the tales.
The fundamental premise is solid despite squeezing in a lot of serious concerns. Mothers and daughters, and the secrets they keep from one another, gradually come to the forefront.
The dark humor in this feminist retelling of the well-known fairytales hooks the reader throughout the short read. As the story progresses the author abandons the lighter angle and delves into real-world atrocities and motives, and the experience becomes sharper and darker.
My rating is 4.5 🌟
The end might seem a little clichéd but an interesting tone of bleakness mixed in with the hope makes the reading experience much more rewarding. Overall strongly recommended for all fairy tale fans and has good writing.