I don’t know about you guys, but I’m dying in this heat. It would probably be better if it could make up its mind about whether to be humid or dry but going between the two constantly forces me to adapt and, frankly, it’s exhausting. It’s actually made me think about rereading any books I have with good winter scenes in them, ha. And the best books I know with excellent winter scenery are all fairytale retellings of the same old story. East of The Sun, West of the Moon.
If we’re being nitpicky, that’s even a retelling of the old Cupid/Psyche myth which I also love. East of the Sun, West of the Moon is my favorite fairytale retelling. I’m not sure why, because in all actuality I don’t like the cold that much. I’m much more of a fall gal myself, but I think it appeals to me because it’s pretty “girl power” for being an old story. The basic premise is a girl is whisked away to a castle with invisible servants. Her husband is a monster in some way or form and she must save him by making him human again through many trials.
I grew up on Mercer Mayer’s retelling, East of the Sun & West of the Moon, from a children’s book my mum would read to us when we were kids.
The spellbound frog is whisked off to the trolls’ castle and the ungrateful lass loses her chance to marry a handsome prince until she creates a happy ending, having atoned for her mistake. This led into my love for one of my top ten books, East by Edith Pattou.
In East, Rose has always been different. Born into a family with a superstitious mother who names her children after the direction she was facing when they were born, Rose has never felt like her full name has fit her, Ebba Rose. Ebba for East, East being quiet, practical, and obedient. Rose herself is mischievous, adventurous, and curious-all the things her mother fears. So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family she eagerly agrees. Rose travels on the bear’s back to a distant and empty castle, where she is joined every night by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart, and realizes her journey has only just begun.
Another good retelling that finds a home on my bookshelf is Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. Blessed with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.
East is my personal favorite, one that I try to read at least once a year. But I don’t find that I ever really tire of reading this storyline. And it’s a nice one to whisk off my shelf when I want a bit of cold scenery in the middle of summer.
What about you guys? Is there any certain plotline that you find yourself reading over and over again without getting sick of it?
Hope you’re all managing well in this heat!