After the kiss what really is a fairy tale happily ever after? What the fairy tales don't tell you is that the Princes and Princesses have their own problems. Whether that is the wondering eyes (and hands) of a husband, hitting the dreaded 3-0, or being so scared of falling in love that they gain a reputation. Belle has suffered in her marriage for years without even realising, but finding that her husband Donner (the Beast) has been seeing another woman is the last straw for her, and she walks out on him to stay with her friend Rapunzel, socialite and PR extraordinaire. Rapunzel has never dated the same man twice, until Ethan comes along and starts to tear down the walls to her heart. Cinderella is turning 30 and hasn't done half the things she wanted to.
Desperately Ever After tells the story of the fairy tale Princesses against a modern back drop, where there is a co-monarchy (between the husbands of Cinderella, Snow White, Penelopea - aka the Princess and the Pea, and Dawn - 'sleeping beauty'). And the problems that each other the women face are very real, and very modern problems. There wasn't much of Snow White or Dawn in Desperately Ever After, but I am hoping to see something from the two of them in the sequel, whereas Penelopea, known as Penny, Cinderella, Belle and Rapunzel all have their own point of view.
Belle was the character that I thought grew the most in Desperately Ever After, she went from a girl suffering under a controlling husband to an independent woman, despite being given ample opportunity to just take the easy option. I thought that the author captured, and retained to some extent, the innocence and optimism that makes Belle into Beauty from the original story throughout the entire book, and without it she wouldn't have been the same.
Another character that I thought made a journey was Rapunzel (and Rapunzel is my favourite Disney Princess, despite the fact I chose to write my own novella about Sleeping Beauty, not all too sure why!). She was spunky and bold right from the beginning, and in a way I thought it suited her, particularly when she was helping her friends, which she did without asking many questions first. Though not a Princess in this book, Rapunzel definitely deserved a happily ever after. Also I think that she was the character in this book that a lot of women would probably find the most relatable, not looking for, or wanting, love and yet having it find her.
I thought that the gossip columns, which made an appearance every couple of chapters or so, were brilliant, they really added to the feel of the book, with the Princesses being celebrities, and there were definitely a few moments when I found myself laughing aloud at comments.
Desperately Ever After is a brilliant and fun read, that makes fairy tale characters relatable to the modern world in a seamless fashion! Definitely worth a read!
One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives.
Three parts Brothers Grimm.
Imagine what might happen if our most beloved fairy tale princesses were the best of friends and had the dreams, dilemmas, and libidos of the modern woman. How would their stories unfold after the wedding bells stopped ringing?
Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, DESPERATELY EVER AFTER sprinkles women’s fiction with elements of fantasy, and encourages readers to rethink everything they know about happy endings.
Years after turning her husband from beast back to man and becoming his queen, Belle finds out she’s finally going to have a child. But before she can announce the wondrous news, she catches him cheating and watches her “happily ever after” go up in flames.
Turning to her friends for the strength to land with grace, she realizes she’s not the only one at a crossroads:
v Cinderella, a mother of four drowning in royal duties, is facing her 30th birthday and questioning everything she’s done (or hasn’t) with her life.
v Rapunzel, a sex-crazed socialite and one-woman powerhouse, is on a self-destructive quest to make up for 20 years locked away in a tower.
v Penelopea, an outsider with a mother-in-law from hell, is harboring a secret that could ruin everything at any moment.
One part Sex and the City, two parts Desperate Housewives, and three parts Brothers Grimm, DESPERATELY EVER AFTER picks up where the original tales left off—and reimagines them a la Gregory Maguire’s Wicked.
With the wit of authors like Jennifer Weiner and the vision of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the women of DESPERATELY EVER AFTER rescue each other from life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a scandalous new take on happily ever after.
"Kenyon's colorful imagery and often quick, lighthearted style makes it easy to keep flipping pages.”
~ The New Canaan Advertiser
"Laura Kenyon's Desperately Ever After is part Disney princess, part Sex in the City, and part TMZ Celebrity Gossip Site ... and it's fabulous!" ~ Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie, blogger at Keep Calm and Write On
"...this book is hilarious, sweet, and ingenious." ~ Whitney Reece, blogger at WordsWisdomWhitney
About the Author
Laura Kenyon is an award-winning journalist and graduate of Boston College. Her stories
and articles have appeared in Kiwi Magazine, Westchester Magazine, Just Labs, Serendipity, The Improper Bostonian, InD’tale Magazine, and Westchester/Hudson Valley Weddings, as well as in myriad newspapers and at PrickoftheSpindle.com. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and their silver Labrador retriever. DESPERATELY EVER AFTER is her first novel.
She loves connecting with readers on her blog (laurakenyon.com), Twitter (twitter.com/laura_kenyon), Facebook (facebook.com/LauraKenyonWrites), and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/laurakenyon).
Representation: Michelle Brower
Folio Literary Management