Rachel Durham and her twelve sisters are good, evangelical of the puritan kind, girls. But they (or at least some of them) are tired of denim skirts, no make up, and of being good. Its boring. But while rearranging their room, the girls discover a secret door. Through it, in the cover of night, lies the adventure that Rachel is determined to have. But will the Twelve Dancing Princesses find too much adventure in the cover of night? And just how strong is its hold?
I read the first two of Regina Doman’s Fairy Tale Series and loved them. And yet, I hesitated to pick this book up. Not that I didn’t think it would be good. But because I really didn’t want to read about Blanche, Bear, and Rose again. I know, its borderline heresy to say so, but there you have it. Of course, its always helpful to actually pick up the book and read the dust jacket. Or click over to Amazon and read the summary. Such a simple act would have saved me a bit of anguish as this book (the fourth in the series) breaks away from said characters. Note: I haven’t read book three (Waking Rose), yet, and evidently our hero, Paul Fester, is introduced to us there.
I loved it. There. That’s my review. If only all young adult authors would write such prose. If only other authors could read one of Doman’s novels and see that its possible to deal with current and relevant “teen” issues without being crass. Or rude. And even – *gasp* – manage to portray genuine truth and beauty without talking down to the reader, or sounding sickly sweet. This is a book any teen can read and relate to. Its a book that this Mom enjoyed. And why not? It stays true to the Grimm fairy tale. And what is a fairy tale, if not to give us a glimpse of truth, and beauty, and love?
What You Need to Know
- Role Models/Authority Figures – Paul Fester is a young, faithful Catholic. The Durham parents are loving parents, if not overly strict and puritanical. The girls respect them.
- Violence – Paul and Michael fight. Michael ties Paul up and the scene grows rather intense as the young men torture Paul, college style.
- Sexual Content – The girls flirt and dance with older teens/young men whose intentions toward them are less than honorable. Paul speaks with Rachel about the dignity of women (as opposed to objects). Rachel accuses Paul of kissing her without her consent (and implies more). Michael threatens to rape Rachel (she is rescued).
- Language – None.
- Consumerism – None.
- Drinking/Smoking/Drugs – The temptations of the dark life include drinking, cigarettes, and marijuana.
- Religion – Paul is Catholic and he (and his father) are the wise ones in this tale. The book paints a fairly harsh picture of puritanical evangelicalism, while demonstrating the freedom found in the Catholic church.
- Other – the book is based on the Twelve Dancing Princesses, found in Lang’s Red Fairy Book. It can also be found in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. As always, the author has provided a Picky Parents Guide.