All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother
Continuing in the wake of the fairytale retellings era, All The Ever Afters uses the bones of a classic. But, this time, the “evil stepmother” is given a voice.
Meet peasant-born Agnes, sentenced to a life of serfdom at Aviceford Manor as a laundry girl. She endured hardship at the hands of the head laundress, but with her cunning and smarts, she eventually created her exit out of the manor and to Ellis Abbey for a chance at a better life. However, when she fell for the Abbey’s messenger and became pregnant, she was forced to leave and created a new life running an alehouse. This, too, was disrupted when he died of the pox and Agnes found herself scant for money once again. With no other options, she returned to Aviceford Manor, as the nursemaid for a young baby named Ella.
A creative workaround—the familiar story of Cinderella—Danielle Teller writes a tale with an imaginative and sympathetic backstory for the evil stepmother: a character that isn’t often humanized. Focusing on telling a new kind of story, plausibly woven with a beloved tale, fans of adaptations can look to add this one to their collections.
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