BOUND by Donna Jo Napoli
CINDER by Marissa Meyer
Both of these books re-tell the story of Cinderella
BOUND by Donna Jo Napoli tells the story of Xing Xing, a Chinese girl, living in the past during the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Her Mother died when she was very young and now her Father has died, leaving her with her Father’s second wife and half-sister. Because she is now a widow and unable to provide for them, the Stepmother must find a husband for her daughter.
In those days, it was the custom for women to bind their daughter’s feet so that they would remain small. It was looked upon as a sign of beauty. What this practice really did was to hobble women – make them unable to walk without assistance – and in this way keep them dependent.
Xing Xing is treated like a servant and must take care of everyone. Her only solace is talking to her Koi fish, who she believes to be the spirit of her dead Mother.
I won’t tell the ending, but there is a golden shoe and a prince.
CINDER by Marissa Meyer is about a Cyborg (human + machine)born in Earth’s future New Beijing after World War IV. Cinder lives with her Stepmother and two stepsisters and works at a “garage” repairing mechanical devices to support the family. When Cinder’s stepsister comes down with the Blue Fever, a plague that is sweeping across the land, Cinder is blamed. She is sent to a research lab where doctors discover that Cinder is immune to this illness-and Cinder learns a secret about her past. Meanwhile, the Lunars (people who live on the Moon) are up to something. Does Cinder hold the key?
Both of these tales are similar in that a down-trodden girl overcomes her circumstances to become a heroine. Both take place in China, though one story is set in the past and the other in the future. Both stories are compelling. In my opinion BOUND is the better written of the two – almost poetic in places; but my favorite was CINDER because of the many elements in the storyline.
Author Donna Jo Napoli has re-written another famous Fairy Tale Beast
Marissa Meyer has now published the second book in her 4-part “Lunar Chronicles” series called Scarlet -which is a new version of Little Red Riding Hood.
Now I am waiting for someone to write a new version of Snow White.