Silver Woven in My Hair

Sunday, January 17, 2010

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For a slight change of pace, here is a book for the Intermediate reader. Silver Woven in My Hair by Shirley Rousseau Murphy is a charming spin on Cinderella legends from around the world.

Thursey lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters in the small country of Gies. Their inn lies off the high road, the only one in a day's ride that offers shelter to the common traveler. Many a merchant has passed through bearing stories from other places, stories of Tattercoats, Cendrillon, Aschenputtel, and others like Cinderella. If she dreams of herself in that role, who could blame her when her family treats her with scorn and forces her to do the hard labor of maintaining the inn?

She longs to know the fate of her father, missing since he joined the war against the Balkskakian hordes. If he were home, he would make things right again. But no one who has returned knows if he is dead or alive. Her stepsisters claim that he died a coward, running from the Balkskak's troops during the push when the queen and young prince were captured. Only a coward afraid of the mill wheel would have lost two fingers, and such a man could never amount to much. But Thursey remembers how he kept her stepmother and stepsisters in better temper.

The kingdom now has reason to rejoice. Five years since the royal family had been rescued, their recovery from the foreign illness and the prince's wounds was finally nearing its end. Now they were returning home from the Isle of Carthemas to meet their people and reassure them that the prince would be healthy enough to take up his duties as a man. An Easter ball would be held for all to attend.

Thursey longs to go but knows her family would never allow her. And her heart is torn between her dreams and the handsome goatherd who tends the Carthemas goats whose milk is responsible for the prince's recovery. The goatherd who has become her dear friend and encourages her dreams. If the magic of the stories comes true, would it mean leaving him behind?

Even for a younger audience, I still find this enchanting. A hope that you never know when or how magic may find you to make your dreams come true.


Brandi G. said...

It definitely sounds interesting. I love different takes on fairy tales, so I shall be sure to pick this up.

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