A few months ago, I stumbled on a sale for this series: Entwined Tales. The most interesting part about the series is that each fairy tale retelling was written by a different author; yet the stories still work together as they follow the misadventures of a particular family who must suffer through the administrations of an incredibly reluctant…and slightly incompetent…fairly godfather. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the series as a whole, I wanted to highlight An Unnatural Beanstalk by Brittany Fichter as it turned out to be my favorite book in the series.
Part of what made this book incredibly unique is that it’s actually a retelling of Jack & the Beanstalk. Now, other than passing references in things like ABC’s Once Upon a Time or the Broadway musical Into the Woods, I haven’t read any other retellings of this story. That immediately caught my attention, and the author completely captivated me with her interpretation of this story that was full of romance, magic, and character growth.
The main characters are truly the ones who brought life to this story. While I’ve read stories of female protagonists who learn to stand up for themselves, it was refreshing to see this internal struggle for freedom in the character of Jack. His mother, who of course is the impetus for action in the original story, is perfectly written in this book; especially in how realistic her interactions with Jack are, horrible though they may be. And I loved seeing how Jack learns to overcome these lies and misconceptions that have been inflicted on him throughout his life. There is a particular scene that literally brought me to tears when he is confronted with these lies and has to make a decision about the type of man he wants to be going forward. I think his struggle was incredibly relatable as a coming of age sort of experience.
If you are looking for a new fairytale retelling series, then you should definitely read all of the books in the Entwined Tales series! Each book can also be read as a stand alone, so if you can’t wait to check out Jack’s story then skip right to An Unnatural Beanstalk which is actually the second book in the series.
One thought on “An Unnatural Beanstalk by Brittany Fichter”
Comments are closed.