My second Cinderella retelling pick is Before Midnight, by Cameron Dokey. This is part of the Once Upon a Time series, which is a great series for any fairytale enthusiast. The book follows the traditional fairytale in that Cinderella’s father is still alive. She also goes by the French translation of Cinderella, Cendrillion.
The father is so heartbroken over his wife’s death, that he leaves his daughter. He blames her and vows never to see her again. When he remarries, he send his new wife and her daughters back to the home where he left Cendrillion. They don’t realize Cendrillion is his daughter, they just assume she is a servant girl, and treat her as such. One stepsister is kind to Cedrillion, and the other one is mean to her. The stepmother is indifferent towards Cendrillion until she discovers that Cendrillion is her stepdaughter. Once the stepmother realizes this, she welcomes Cendrillion as part of their family.
In this version, there is also a boy that is raised alongside Cendrillion, a baby that her father had brought home when Cendrillion’s mother died. This adds a unique twist to the fairytale, and a surprise at the end.
This book captures the essence of Cinderella. Wishes play an important role, and Cendrillion is a kind, but human heroine. I read this book several years ago, and it was still quite memorable. If you are a Cinderella fan, this is a must read!