Put simply, Sheri S. Tepper’s 1991 novel Beauty, is an examination of a number of classic western fairy tales (both Grimm and Perrault stories are represented) which includes elements of Science Fiction and focuses strongly on issues of Environmentalism and women’s roles in the middle ages.
The story follows Beauty (of the Sleeping variety, rather than the one with the Beast), as she moves through a number of classic stories taking on (mild, 25-year-old spoiler) various roles in various fairy tales. The story also includes a trip to a dystopian future and journeys to the more fantastic realms of Faerie and Hell.
Although slow to start, I found I enjoyed the narrative more and more as Beauty began to stretch beyond her own story. In many ways the book reminded me of Ursula K. Leguin’s Lavinia, although as a huge fan of the Ancient World, I did enjoy that one a little more.
An interesting read I would be happy to add to my own collection.
1 month ago