TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP FOR THE OFFICIAL KNITTER'S BOOKSWAP VOL I
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I think I'm addicted to Lizard Ridge.
As in "knitting when my wrist hurts, binding one off casting on another two seconds later" addicted. But it's because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Four blocks from now I'll be done. As little as a week if I get the yarn. DONE. As in block and sew and have afghan and be able to knit other things and have a beautiful piece of knitting.
But, due to said 'Lizard Ridge only kniting' and 'wrist hurts' (just a little, from overuse) and my camera still not having batteries all I have for you is a book review:
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
I have two things to say before the actual review. First of all that cover is new. I liked the old one well enough, but particularly like this one as the girl's expression is very Ella-ish. She looks young, but then again Ella is only fifteen. Second, I don't recommend reading this book the first time you're exposed to it; I recommend listening to it. Audible link You should look at the book, to admire Carson Levine's great made-up languages and the glossary and extra scene in the paperback, but Eden Riegel's performance and the music in the audiobook is too good to miss. (And great for knitting to!)
I had only ever listened to the book, but had listened to it many times since middle school. I had it on cassette, and now on my iPod and it's been my comfort listen for ages and ages. I have often said that if I can write as wonderful a book one day I will be happy. Having read it in print now, I am more amazed by Carson Levine's made-up languages, but annoyed at her short paragraphs. In the audio that isn't a problem.
Before now, though, I just saw a delightful story of a willful girl, with a wonderful romance. It is all that, but in Ella Enchanted a wonderfully detailed world is set up, for a bit of an Austen-esque social commentary. Every one around Ella after her mother's death, save the fairy cook Mandy, is obssessed with society and money. Her merchant father sees her as a mere pocession, her stepsisters are obssessed, one with power and one with money (because she knows she should be), and her stepmother marries for money. Ella is not concerned with that, nor does she see her friendship with the prince as a way to gain power.
But, because of the curse upon her to be obediant Ella becomes what the society wants: an accomplished girl. This is where Carson Levine deviates from Austen. Austen's girls are pointedly not accomplished. Elizabeth Bennett is horrible at the piano and her mother never put much effort into her education. Catherine, of Northanger Abbey, cannot draw and Austen points this out. Ella can sing, dance and stitch. But she is obedient not docile. She is not society's puppet. She can write well, and has a nack for language. Her impertinence and spunk cause Char, a prince who cares for all his subjects (if he cares less for anyone it's the peerage), to fall in love with her.
Although the story is, at the core, a fleshed-out Cinderella, Ella Enchanted is so much more than that. It is a wonderfully detailed universe, a fairy-tale, a coming-of-age story and a wonderful social commentary. Definitely worth a read, or better yet a listen.