Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

Book Description from
What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone? 

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fianc√©, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing: 

The king is dead. 

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. 

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means? 

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

Since starting this blog I have been asked to do book reviews on occasion. I usually said no because of one simple reason. I didn't have an eReader. Then a few months ago I started reading a few books that I bought from Amazon on the Kindle for iPhone app. I enjoyed this so much I started borrowing my son's iPad to read books. And I loved it! There was one big problem with that. My son had to give his iPad back to the school because the school year was ending. So I spent a tense few days trying to find the cheapest Kindle I could on eBay. I managed to find a 2nd Generation Kindle (the original eReader) for under $30 including shipping.

Why am I telling you all this? Because in celebration of getting a Kindle, I decided to finally say yes to a request for a book review. The book is The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith. This book made me realize how I've really been missing out on eBooks. I was rather adamant about sticking with paper books and I realize now that my refusal to get with the times has made many wonderful books unavailable to me. I couldn't have picked a better book to "break in" my Kindle.

I wonder how much David Meredith knew about me when he asked me to review his book. Did he know that I'm a widow just like Snow White? Did he know that I have suffered with prolonged grief and severe depression just like Snow White? I never anticipated how personal reading this story would seem. Reading this book was like reading about some of my own experiences and that's quite unexpected considering it's a fairy tale.

I guess that's the thing about fairy tales. They contain universal truths. I don't know how much experience or knowledge Meredith has with childhood abuse, infertility, widowhood, severe depression, or women's self esteem but he nails it. When a man perfectly describes a woman's experience I can't help but be impressed.

While you and I would visit a therapist (i.e a complete stranger), Snow White has something even better. Snow White has a magic mirror that shows her only what is a reflection of her. The magic mirror never lies but instead shows Snow White the many truths about herself, her past, and her life that she refuses to face. This magic mirror knows her better than she knows herself.

Ultimately, the book is about coming to terms with life's challenges, letting go of the past, and finding forgiveness. This book wasn't just entertaining to me. It was therapy!

I do have to admit there were times when I wanted to just shake Snow White while yelling "Have confidence in yourself! Just be happy!" but that is the nature of grief and depression. It's a black cloud that follows one everywhere. No one gets better unless they choose to get better. Happiness is a choice. It was wonderful to read a story about someone healing from the monster that is grief and depression. So many books about widows end up with healing coming from finding romance and a new love. In this book, Snow White finds it in herself.

I do have a few minor criticisms. The book could have used a bit more proofreading. Sometimes I thought characters talked too long. I wish Meredith would have included some scenes of how Snow White came to be taken in by the dwarfs. I would have liked to know more about Arglist and what happened in her life to make her so cruel and abusive. What was her experience with the truth telling magic mirror? Arglist's story would make a great prequel. (Hint. Hint.)

I don't give out five star ratings often. I only give them to books that are either so entertaining I was sad when the book ended or to books that touch me on a very deep level. I would by lying if I said this book didn't affect me deeply. I don't have a magic mirror, but this story made me want to look at my own experiences and my own truths so that I can find healing too. This book made me consider my own experiences with prolonged grief and severe depression. Most of all it did something most books about widows don't do and that is share the lesson that healing comes from within, not from finding new romance and love.  My rating Photobucket

David Meredith has a website and also a Facebook page. His book can be purchased here.

I was given a copy of the book for an honest review. No other compensation was received.

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