Once upon a time, in a land far, far away… ...(actually, in Medieval France, to be exact) there lived Cinderella's stepsisters, Fredegonde the tall and Javotte the small. They wake up the morning after the legendary ball to learn that they each still have a chance to be the bride—all they have to do is make their feet fit into that tricky slipper. Alas, these two damsels under stress never quite seem to fit in anywhere. But that doesn’t stop them from wishing and hoping as they set upon a quest for grooms and grandeur of their own.
After Cinderella leaves to marry her prince charming, we learn that her step sisters and step mother are in a dire situation. Non-noble women are not allowed to own property. As such the step sisters and mothers will soon have nowhere to live.
I was really pleasantly surprised by ‘Step Spinsters’. I thought that a retelling through the eyes of the step sisters would be silly and hard to believe but this wasn’t true at all. Both step sisters, Fredegonde, and Javotte came across as endearing and easy to connect with.
I loved that there was so much history included. There is often not much back story to the royalty and kingdoms in fairy tales and ‘Step Spinsters’ gave us a great history lesson.
I think that there was also a lot of important messages in the story. That the heroine can be vain and selfish and that sometimes women can feel pressured into situations because of their financial situations.
I also loved the message that people are not always as they are portrayed. In ‘Step Spinsters’, Cinderella is vain, and selfish where Fredegonde and Gavotte are hardworking and caring.
While I did enjoy the book, I felt a little let down by the ending. I definitely wanted to have more finality with Fredegonde and Gavotte and more back story on some of the secondary characters. I am really hoping for a sequel.
While being somewhat gritty, ‘Step Spinsters’ is also funny, deep and poignant. I really enjoyed it.