The Reflections of Queen Snow White
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Adult Fairy Tale/Fantasy
The princess is all grown up and has lived her happily ever after – or has she? Caught in the midst of depression after the death of a loved one Snowy is trapped in a vice of her own making. As she tries desperately to get away and remove herself from everyone in the castle she stumbles down a long forgotten passage that leads her to the truth of her past – will it be enough to mend her fractured soul or will it shatter this delicate lady once and for all?
I was immediately drawn to the idea of Snow White in her later years battling emotional forces she hadn’t dealt with since she was a child. This notion held the promise of a tortured soul and a detailed look at what it meant to be happy. The title for this story could not be more perfect for describing the tale this short novel tells. The overriding premise might lead you to believe that this is a fictional memoir, but it is not. The overriding story that leads Snow White to reflect upon her past is not only plausible but believable, within the framework of the original tale.
Meredith gives readers a handful of truly magical moments where the pain and horror of Snowy’s childhood realistically echoes the tortures some children in this world have and do face. His ability to flush out a tale whose truth was heavily veiled by the animated masters at Disney Studios make it clear why this was and will continue to be one of the timeless Grim pieces.
Unfortunately, my praise ends there. Yes, The Reflections of Queen Snow White won a Reader’s Choice Award as professes the illustrated medal on the front cover of the book, but that just made my expectations soar all the higher in anticipation – only to be let down as an overly weepy older woman acts like a spoiled child. Her severe lack of self-confidence and esteem made reading weary and repetitive. Yes, I realize that depression saps the life right out of you, but it needs to be written about in such a way that readers become entangled in shared grief with the character.
The older Snowy of the outer story lacked dimension and depth. The more she reflected on how she was supposed to be strong, the more convinced I became that this woman never knew strength of purpose or character. By the end of the story, I did not fully believe that she had reached any kind of realization about herself and that the one trying to help her see the truth of her life did little more than prove her own rational for self-pity.
Perhaps my hopes were too high for this manuscript, perhaps I expected too much of a simple fairy tale – but I think not. Meredith simply did not fulfill the promise of his book blurb and let his powerful moments wallow in a watery wasteland.
Review by M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor. Freelance Writer.
Categories: Book Reviews