Review – Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After – non fiction

 

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Book Details:

Book Title:  Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales by Anne E. Beall
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  126 pages
Genre: Feminist, Fairy Tales, Literary Criticism
Publisher:  Independent Publishing
Release date:  November 17, 2018
Content Rating:  PG + M. Some fairy tales are a bit gruesome but there is no bad language or explicit sex. 

 Book Description:

​Did Cinderella live happily ever after? You might think so until you look more closely at the hidden messages in beloved fairy tales. In this book, fairy tales are analyzed in terms of the underlying messages about marriage, agency, power, suffering, and good versus evil, with a focus on how male and female characters differ in each of these areas. The analysis is a data-driven approach that provides clear evidence for the hidden messages in these beloved tales. The end conclusion is not whether fairy tales are good or bad but rather what messages they deliver about life, even if unintentionally.

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My Review

Beall, Anne E. Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales. NP: Beall Research, Inc., 2018.

Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After is an interesting analysis of Cinderella and other fairy tales conducted by Dr. Anne E. Beall and her research team. I was disappointed to find no reference to any training Dr. Beall may have had in the area of Children’s Literature. While the research is very thorough, I think some training in Children’s Literature would have added to the perspective. When I studied children’s literature we often looked at the cultural context of the literature we reviewed. Beall doesn’t really look at the cultural context of the stories she is analyzing, but she does look at the effect the tales may be having on our culture today. 

She analyzed the fairy tales in several areas, often separating her findings according to male or female characters. Some of the areas of analysis were: marrying up (in other words did they marry a higher class spouse), reason for marrying (beauty or achievement), were the characters powerful or powerless, who caused the suffering in the story, and a couple other areas. She also includes an overview of the male and female characters – degree of power, good or evil, emotions, and outcomes. 

I found the research somewhat clinical but Dr. Beall’s bias does seem to come through in her analysis of her research. She comes across as someone who is trying to steer people away from their enjoyment of fairy tales and the princess culture. I got the impression she thinks there is something wrong with believing there is a happily ever after. However, at the very least, Dr. Beall’s work will cause the reader to examine their own views about fairy tales. 

I think that Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After may be a good book for those studying fairy tales to read. It may give them a different perspective on what the tales may be teaching. 

I received a complimentary copy of Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After. This is my honest review.  

 

Meet the Author – Dr. Anne E. Beall:

 

​A leader in the field of market research and one of the few female CEOs in the industry, Anne E. Beall is the author of 10 books in business, gender studies, and mindfulness, including Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales and The Psychology of Gender. Her book Heartfelt Connections was named one of the top 100 Notable Indie books in 2016 by Shelf Unbound, and she has published nearly a dozen business articles in noted journals. Her books have been featured in People Magazine, Toronto Sun, Hers Magazine, and Ms. Career Girl, and she has been interviewed by NBC, NPR, and WGN. Having received her PhD in social psychology from Yale University, Anne resides in Evanston, Illinois and is the founder of the market consultancy company Beall Research.

connect with the author:   website ~ facebook twitter ~ goodreads


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June 13 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
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Enter the Giveaway:

Enter to win a signed copy of CINDERELLA DIDN’T LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER (one winner/USA only) (ends July 8)

CINDERELLA DID NOT LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER Book Tour Giveaway

 

 

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