Ever feel like there are some things that are better in theory than in practice? I’m starting to think fairy tale retellings are maybe in that category, alongside stiletto heels.
It was inevitable I would pick up The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine because it combines so many of my favourite things – flappers, speakeasies, fairy tales, sneaking out at night. And, y’all, it delivers on those fronts. I want to sneak off to a speakeasy and drink illicit champagne while dancing the Charleston! And I don’t even know how to Charleston!
But I feel like when you take fairy tales out of the misty world of fairy tale land they don’t hold up that well. Like if we’re in a fairy tale and twelve princesses are locked up I sure hope they escape/get rescued. If we’re somewhere real, like New York in the 20s, I start thinking they probably need therapy or something and shouldn’t someone call the authorities? Why doesn’t Cinderella tell her stepmother to shove it and go get a job? Who do you call when the roof of your candy house is leaking?
And while twelve anonymous Princesses seems reasonable for a fairy tale, twelve dancing sisters are a bit unwieldy as characters in a novel. There seemed a surplus of sisters, some of whom were just there to shore up the numbers.
But I can’t be too down on it because flappers! Speakeasies! Why did I waste my youth drinking cheap beer in a strip mall dive bar?