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June 15, 2016

Book Review || The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

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I have always been intrigued by folk and fairy tales - their universal appeal over centuries says much about the common threads that guide us humanfolk through our lives and each other's. I also love reimaginings of the classic tales, such as the films 'Ever After' or 'Maleficent'. However, there are not many brave enough to attempt to recreate the happily ever after that our favourite princesses long for, happily ever afters that seem to end on the day of a wedding. Perhaps this is because we all inwardly scoff at the possibility that happily ever afters can exist, especially between couples who have barely said a word to each other.

However, David Meredith is one such brave soul who, in 'The Reflections of Queen Snow White', manages to take us beyond the wedding day to reveal the strength of character of all the main actors in the classic fairy tale as well as to prove that happily ever afters are entirely possible.

In his intuitive novel, we find Snow White - now a queen and mother - grieving for Charming, who has peacefully passed away. She is certain that any possibility at a happy ending for her has been under siege since the day she was born. Lost in her melancholic thoughts, she has isolated herself from her closest family and friends and also her subjects. Wandering through her castle, she comes across the exquisite gilded mirror that was to blame for the punishment rent upon her by her stepmother. It turns out that the mirror merely reflects that which is shown it, and it is up to Snow White to decide how she will see herself for her remaining days.

A quick and enjoyable read, 'The Reflections of Queen Snow White' inspires us to consider how much we place our own worth on what we allow the mirror in front of us to reflect. When faced with her victories, Snow White demeans herself, believing she did nothing without Charming to aid her. Memories take hold of Snow White but it is how she deals with them, how she interprets them, that creates her world and her future. I loved this idea for the mirror: how it in reality did nothing but reflect the Snow White's stepmother's greatest fears and it was she who made choices about what to believe and how to act, not really being influenced by the mirror in any way.

'The Reflections of Queen Snow White' encourages us to take a step back from our wild emotions, our painful memories, and judge them with the wisdom that comes from retrospection.

In a way, Snow White's journey into her past with the mirror is a trip through the grieving process for her but she is not grieving for Charming in her travels - she is grieving for her strength and wisdom that she overlooked with Charming at her side. She denies that she ever had her own agency, becomes angry with the mirror for suggesting as much, bargains for it to stop showing her her truth, returns her to the helplessness and loss of faith in herself that she felt after Charming's death, and finally takes her to a point where she can accept her own power.

'The Reflections of Queen Snow White' is a reminder that our inner strength and power comes from nowhere but ourselves and it is up to us to make choices that will determine how we see our past and how we make our future.

Interested in reading the novel? Find it on Amazon here.

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