“There is a celebrated storyteller in Everwood… His tales always incorporate a variation of the moral that if you do not cherish your dreams, you have forgotten how to live.”
Midnight in Everwood is an exquisitely written retelling of The Nutcracker. Marietta is a daughter in the aristocracy, she is well educated and polished with charm so that she may marry well. One of her skills is ballet and she loves it more than life. When her parents bring an unusual suitor home, she is immediately turned off and fearful. Not only will she lose her dreams of a life in the ballet but she fears this man is not who he seems. Yet, he is bound and determined to capture her heart and if he can’t take it willingly, he will take it by force.
The first quarter of this one is a little slow, it takes place in the real world and we’re simply learning about who Marietta is and who this suitor, Drosselmeier is. We feel Marietta’s fear and determination grow. While necessary for her decision to initially stay in Everwood when she finds herself there, I think this section could have been trimmed considerably. That said, once Drosselmeier entraps Marietta in the wintery, sugary fantasy kingdom of Everwood I think you couldn’t have enough pages. The descriptions of the world and the magic were breathtaking, I would read a thousand stories in this world. And yet, quickly we see there is a dark side to this fabulous world. Kuzniar captures the essence of a fairy tale perfectly… be careful what you wish for. All beauty and joy is balanced with darkness and suffering.
I really enjoyed this story, if it wasn’t for the speed of the first quarter and an inappropriate and uneccessary sex scene wedged in at a weird time, I would have rated this five stars for sure. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Netgalley for access to an early copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.
What’s your favorite fairy tale?