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Gregory Maguire found a niche telling stories about other writers’ characters, imagining their life events that didn’t make it into the tale originally and putting his own thematic spin to give the stories new meaning. He’s not the only one to do this—I remember Anne Rice’s salacious update of Sleeping Beauty flying off the shelves when I worked at a bookstore in high school—but it’s his calling card, so to speak. On his website, his work is referred to as “cross-over books,” but I would have a hard time suggesting any child or teen read the two books of his that I have read (Hiddensee and Wicked).
If you recall from my review of Hiddensee, the point of the book is hard to uncover at times. I don’t normally recommend reading author interviews before you read the book, being a firm believer in experiencing the story in your own head before tainting it with explanation from the author (or even your beloved English teacher), but this brief interview with NPR helps explain what drove Maguire to write Hiddensee without too much spoilery.
The cover of the book is really gorgeous, especially when you open the cover and see the nutcracker illustration inside. Did you know Gregory Maguire sketches his characters sometimes as part of his writing process? Watch this video on Facebook for a Hiddensee illustration by the author.
Favorite Hiddensee Bookstagram
This one by @littlebiscuit8 gets all the holiday sparkle just right.