Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Goose Girl


When we visit grandma and grandpa it is a 6 hour drive, so we listen to audio books to help pass the time. Audio books have become a live saver, we have less fighting and less "are we there yet".  Our most recent book was The Goose Girl. It was long enough to last the whole trip down and most of the trip home.  My older children enjoyed it more than the younger ones as it is geared more toward tweens and  teenagers. 


Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl is actually a retelling of the Grimm brothers fairy tale of the Goose Girl. Next on my list is to read the original to see how they compare. 


Overview:

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt's guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani's journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.

The first of the book is a little slow moving, but right from the first Ani pulls the reader into her life.  She feels like she does not measure up to what the Queen Mother  expects of her. Ani has a connection with animals that her mother and those close to her just do not understand.  I found myself wishing that the Queen Mother would just show a little bit of love to Ani and accept her for who she is. 

Ani eventually ends up tending geese for the king in a foreign land.  Shannon Hale woven such strength into Ani.  Here is a princess that has been pampered her whole life, reduced to tending geese.  Instead of crying that she was no longer being taken care of, she found a way to take care of herself. She didn't give up and she learned to work for a living.   I love that Ani became good friends with the other servants of the king and she learned to trust them.  She got a first hand view of what it is like to be in a lower station of life and I think she probably learned to appreciate those that make a kingdom run smoothly. 

Geric, "a royal guard to the prince" befriends Ani after they meet in the goose pasture.  They become good friends and Ani soon looks forward to his visits. He is charming and  perfect for a fairytale romance.  When things don't seem to work out between the two,  life didn't end for Ani, she continued on with her plan to find her way home. 

There is plenty of action, twists and turns in The Goose Girl to keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense.  Each character had something special about them that made them unique and added depth to the story. Shannon Hale has such a way with words to pull you into the story, it is worth the read.

“Right now I'd like all my troubles to stand in front of me in a straight line, 

and one by one I'd give each a black eye. ” 



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