The Goose Girl


Loved it! Shannon Hale‘s first novel, The Goose Girl, is a wonderful retelling of the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, a page turner of an adventure and a story with a strong female main character. It’s a book I would have absolutely loved as a young person, but I certainly wouldn’t categorize it as just a book for young adults, because it an enjoyable fantasy novel that adults can love as well. I’ve always been fascinated by fairy tales, and Shannon Hale (on her web site) uses the following quotes to explain why she loves them and why she writes them:

Fairy tales since the beginning of recorded time, and perhaps earlier, have been “a means to conquer the terrors of mankind through metaphor.”
–Jack Zipes

“Classic fairy tales do not deny the existence of heartache and sorrow, but they do deny universal defeat.”
–Fairy Tales published by Greenhaven Press

“We may say that the characters in fairytales are ‘good to think with’…[and that] the job of the fairytale is to show that Why? questions cannot be answered except in one way: by telling the stories. The story does not contain the answer, it is the answer.”
–Brian Wicker, A Story-Shaped World

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9 thoughts on “The Goose Girl

  1. Chris

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one Robin! I’ve been dying to read it. I’ve heard nothing but great stuff about it. I might try to fit it in this year for the Once Upon a Time Challenge…It seems I’ve been saying that a lot lately…uh oh, it looks like I’ll be in trouble come Once Upon a Time time :p

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  2. Nymeth

    I really want to read this one. Like Chris said, maybe for Once Upon a Time, although I do have a gigantic mental list already.

    I love Jack Zipes and I love those quotes you shared! Thanks for the lovely review.

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  3. Robin

    Hi Chris, it would be perfect for the Once Upon a Time Challenge. I actually bought it for that last spring, but then didn’t have time to read it. So…you might as well add it to your list, because if you don’t get to it for this upcoming Once Upon a Time challenge, you can certainly read it for Carl’s next year round!

    Tara, it’s a very enjoyable and fast read.

    Booklogged, Shannon Hale did a really nice job with it, don’t you think? Have you read any of her other books?

    Heather, I wasn’t very familiar with the fairy tale as I was growing up. But if you loved the fairy tale as a child, I think you’d love this version, too.

    Nymeth, it’s a fun and fast read, and I know you’d enjoy it. I’m not familiar with Jack Zipes, but I loved that quote, so I’m going to have to find out more about him!

    Gentle Reader, this is a very enjoyable fairy tale. I’m curious about the two books that follow it, too.

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  4. Carl V.

    Isn’t it wonderful! I really enjoyed it when I read it as well. My wife has read all of her stuff and really enjoyed it and, because of her, I thankfully have all these on my shelves just waiting for me to get to them.

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