This was difficult for me. I was leant a book by one of my colleagues at work as she had said she couldn’t put it down and loved it, even though it was very emotional. So I began..

Don’t tell mummy by Toni Maguire

Now you may have gathered from my last post that this isn’t my sort of book. I like to get away from it all through the stories I read. This was the life story of a woman whose past was pretty rough. Beaten and abused by her father with a living mother that pretended nothing was wrong. 

I really struggled to get into the story. And then, after a couple of weeks of not picking it up at all, I decided on another book to read instead. 

Basically, I failed. 

However, although I was saving my next choice for “A book with pictures” it also has grounds in real life. And thus, I started..

Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont

Phew, what a name eh! 

This was an easy read for sure. This was a simplified and shortened version of the novel written in the mid-18th century based on the classic fairytale, but addressing the issues of the marriage system at the time. Women were to marry whomever chose them, and had no say at all. 

However, this version was apparently written for a magazine for young ladies, probably to give them hope that they could choose for themselves! 

The story varies quite a bit from the Disney version we all know so well. Beauty (not Belle) has many brothers and sisters, and there is no Gaston character to speak of. The family go from being fabulously wealthy to having the worst year ever and losing almost everything. Beauty is the only one staying cheerful and keeping their spirits high. 

Their father accidentally comes across the beast in his mansion and trades a daughter for his freedom, but only if they come willingly. Beauty goes and the bond between them begins. 

The writing was definitely not written as well as it would be nowadays. With many sentences starting “Then this happened. Then that happened. Then she said this” but as this is supposedly a column written over 300 years ago and translated to modern type, I guess it can be forgiven. 

The pictures in the book were a good reference too, and I find it fascinating how beauty itself has morphed over time. She sports the straight-nosed Grecian looks you would find in galleries rather than the big eyes and curves of current fancy. 

I enjoyed the book and relished the ease of it after a couple of not-so-easy reads! 

My next task is..

A book that is more than 10 years old