Hello everyone and happy summer! I hope you’re indulging in copious amounts of down-time and an abundance of good books. Today, I’m blogging about Heartless by Marissa Meyer. For those of you in a hurry, today’s content can be summed up in four words:
This. book. DEVASTATED. me.
After finishing this story, it was almost a whole week before I felt recovered enough to start something new. That’s how much this story stayed with me.
Lady Catherine Pinkerton, daughter of the Marquess of Hearts, truly desires only one thing: to open the best confectioner’s shop in the whole kingdom. Her mother, however, has other plans. When Catherine’s exceptional baking skills capture the affection of the King, her mother pushes Catherine into a courtship she doesn’t want, especially since she’s falling in love with another man. Every attempt Catherine makes to avoid the King’s imminent proposal only strengthens the King’s desire, pushing Catherine to more desperate measures as she fights to master her destiny and spend her life with a man of her own choosing.
Set in the world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Heartless is the origin story of the Queen of Hearts. While remaining true to Carroll’s original version of Wonderland, Meyers develops a world that is richly drawn and peopled with characters so real that readers will miss them when the story ends.
I originally read this book because one of my students recommended it to me. I honestly wasn’t looking forward to it, but I try to read everything my students love enough to recommend because it gives me insight into each student’s personality. It also gives us common ground for discussion, providing a way to connect, and it exposes me to some pretty good stories I might not have picked up otherwise.
This is exactly what happened with Heartless. In this story, Meyers has created an actual, believable person to flesh out the caricature of Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts. Every detail from Carroll’s stories is present and is believably incorporated. Meyer’s characters are richly drawn and believable, even the minor characters, and their motives are relatable. Moreover, Catherine’s transition from enjoyable daughter of a domineering mother to the Queen of Hearts is understandable and genuine, and her reasons for doing so are reasons any one of us might act on ourselves. The truth of Catherine’s story is what makes Heartless so powerful, believable, and ruinous.
I hope you enjoy this book. If you do, let me know what you think. Also, I'm always looking for a good read. Let me know what you're reading in the comments below.