I’m pretty guilty of not knowing my fairy tales that well. And I have Regina Doman to thank for not only educating me in the last few years with her Fairy Tale Novels, but for also making them relevant to modern life.
Her latest installment, Rapunzel Let Down, is categorized adult fiction (all the others are young adult), and not only tackles a fairy tale that I didn’t appreciate, but also deals with some topics that are critical and touchy.
The tale of Rapunzel is one I know, mostly, through Disney’s rendering of it in one of our family’s favorite movies, Tangled. Call me uncultured: I know. The Disneyification of fairy tales hasn’t just affected me, and it makes me appreciate, even more, Doman’s work with the Fairy Tale Novels.
Doman’s rendition of this tale is based on Grimm, and she shares the thumbnail at the very end (it would ruin the plot, in some ways, to share it here or to have it as a preface to the book). I’m glad she did. It almost made me want to look it up for myself (it’s pretty dark, really).
I wasn’t able to stay up all night and finish this book in one or two sittings the way I would have liked to, but I was no less entertained and enthralled through the longer time spent with this plot.
The characters are honest and real in a way that I can only salute. The plot is well-done and thought out to the tiniest detail, as far as I can tell as a reader.
And…it’s dark. It’s scary. And whatever ending it has, you’re still left haunted by the what-could-have-beens and the what-might-have-happeneds.
In Rapunzel Let Down, we get a perspective on morals, specifically as they relate to sexuality, that’s unabashedly Catholic. Don’t read that to mean that it’s not full of ugliness and true humanity, though. One of the ways I think Doman wrote this book completely right was with her exploration of how society and sin lead people astray and how the Church (and Jesus) always wait, offering a hand and forgiveness and right relationship if only we choose.
This book is shocking in some ways and refreshing in others. You won’t find apologies in this book and you’ll get a hearty dose of how life really is. There are nightmare-inducing scenes and terrible consequences.
All in all, it’s been one of my favorite reads of the year. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend it.