The Charmed Wife

Jane’s Pick: The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin

At a glance, The Charmed Wife is a modern retelling of the Cinderella story. Cinderella and Prince Charming have now been married 13 years, and all is not so happily ever after.

The Charmed Wife is such an unusual and original book and saying too much about it will spoil it for anyone else who wants to experience it. At the core, it is an examination of the fairytales I loved as a child – at turns funny, dark, sad, enlightening, disheartening, disorienting and full of hard, hard truths. A feminist take on the Hero’s Journey.

“Love is not always like a plant,” I said to my child in a measured tone. “Sometimes it is, but other times, it is more like lightning, it strikes all of a sudden. You look at someone, and there you are, in love”

“But isn’t lightning a bad thing?” asked Angie, frowning.

And in that moment, I had no answer for her.

The Charmed Life by Olga Grushin

At first, I wasn’t sure I liked it – I was too wrapped up into deciphering all the fairy tale references and I felt disoriented as layer by layer peeled back. Sometimes the story moved fast; sometimes slow – but, then it was like I turned a corner and found myself in a totally different place and at that point, I let expectations fall away and let myself be lost in the book…basically, I stepped off the path and into the briars. So happy I did.