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Saturday, April 30, 2016

REVIEW: After Alice by Gregory Maguire

After Alice supposes how 1860 Oxford, England reacted to Alice's disappearance. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives too late.  Tumbling down the rabbit hole herself, she has her own set of adventures and is constantly one step behind her friend. 

Back in England, readers follow a parallel narrative as friends and family realize both Alice and Ada are missing. Maguire adds characters within the frame of Carroll's original work while also exploring some themes of disability, women's roles and racism.

After several failed attempts, I have to concede that Gregory Maguire and I are never going to be the best of friends.  On the surface you'd think he'd be my author knight in shining armor--with a slew of bestselling works surround my most beloved favorites, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. However, try as I might, Maguire's writing style and my personal preferences just aren't a good fit. For me, there is a lack of fluidity and ability to engage with his plots or characters.  As much as I adore the Broadway musical Wicked, I loathed the book and have never read any others in the series. Likewise, I've attempted to read Mirror, Mirror and Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister to no avail.

I always leave feeling disappointed and underwhelmed.  Furthermore, I often find myself interpreting that the author has a quite negative view of women. Overall, he took a story filled with imagination and made it rather boring.  I trudged through to the end, hoping to find redemption but, for me, there was none. 

Final rating: 2 out of 5 stars

#AfterAlice #AliceInWonderland #GregoryMaguire #classic #retelling #books

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