“Eliana longs to see the world beyond the mountains that tower above Salzburg, Austria, but knows that dream will never see such adventure- and neither will she.
Surrounded by a world of cruelty, she lives for the weekly visits of Aron, a boy she met on one of her rambles through the countryside.
But as the years pass and she begins to grow older, a new and unwelcome world is opened up to her.
On a fateful night at a party she vowed she’d never attend, she comes face to face with a shocking truth.
As the world around her teeters on the brink of war, Eliana struggles to figure out just where her loyalty lies; a decision that will drastically change the course of her life. Will she ever be free to see what lies beyond the horizon?” (from Goodreads)
Say the words “fairytale retelling” and my ears perk up. Then tell me it’s a World War II version and show me the beautiful cover, and I’m in. 😉 This book by Jesseca Wheaton was a pretty unique take on the on the tale of Cinderella down to the fact that Eliana disliked dancing. I enjoyed her interactions with Aron (SPOILER ALERT! he was darling about reminding her to get a coat), and the housekeeper was pretty sweet. And her clothes for the ball—what a sweet backstory! The evil mother was even more dangerous than ever—not only did she threaten Elly’s happiness but also MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! her very life! END OF SPOILER! That was a pretty cool twist. When the backstory came out, I was almost sympathetic towards her for like a split second even though she was definitely doing the wrong thing with it. Wilhelm was an interesting character, and it was sweet that Eliana SPOILER ALERT! still had some family left. The SPOILER ALERT! plane ride at the end was so special, and it sounded like a beautiful night. 😉 This is the second work I’ve read by this author, and it’s neat to see her writing style grow. I still would have like a little more strength/clarity of theme, and it did leave me wondering what SPOILER ALERT! the men were going to do about being in such an evil army. Maybe a sequel? 😉 Not recommended for younger readers because of the slight romantic element, wartime danger, and the evil mother SPOILER ALERT! originally being considered Eliana’s birth mother which makes her betrayal even worse.
Best quotes: Eliana gasped. “How did you get here?” She ran a few steps to catch up with him, but didn’t attempt to take the bucket back. He seemed to be managing it much better than she ever would have. He slowed down enough to turn and smile. “Easy. I followed you.”
Elly watched as he left the kitchen. “Don’t forget your jacket!” She heard him scoff. “As if. That’s something you would do.”
Altogether, I enjoyed this sweet, Cinderella retelling!
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.