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Golden

Golden

A Retelling of "Rapunzel"

Once Upon a Time Series
by Cameron Dokey
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Mass market paperback, 179 pages
Current Retail Price: $6.99
"Your mother's heart had room in it for herself alone. When I saw this, I did the only thing I could. I made room for you inside my own heart."

To say that Golden is a retelling of the Rapunzel story doesn't completely do it justice. The traditional girl-in-a-tower situation doesn't start until twelve chapters into this eighteen chapter book. Rapunzel is born (and remains) completely bald, and it's another girl that has the famously long hair. The prince appears but he is never blinded, nor is he saved by the tears of Rapunzel. In some ways Cameron Dokey merely used the story of Rapunzel as a framework for the themes she wanted to explore—the themes of love, of hope, and of the true meaning of home.

When Rapunzel is born completely bald, her mother, unable to love her, lets the sorceress Melisande take her away. Melisande raises Rapunzel as her own daughter. One day she reveals to Rapunzel that she has another daughter, a girl named Rue, who was also taken away and locked in a tower. She can only be rescued by the power of a love other than her mother's—and Melisande believes that Rapunzel is the one who can free her. But Rue and Rapunzel have trouble getting along, and they only have two nights and the day that falls between to break the spell.

Rapunzel herself is an engaging narrator; though she is not (at least in the traditional sense) beautiful, this doesn't bother her, except for her sometimes wistful longing for hair. She loves her mother unabashedly, and struggles to do the right thing because it is right, even when it is hard. Elsewhere, in the people around her, we get glimpses of what it means to love and be loved, how fear and selfishness can blight love, and how love cannot be based on external appearances.

Love is referred to as a metaphorical room inside one's heart—a place you make for another person. When two people mutually make room in their hearts for each other, they are able to build a home. Golden explores this idea with great insight. True love, it asserts, isn't something that just happens. True love is a choice you keep making every single day.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Summary: Rapunzel, born without hair, learns the meaning of love in the home of the sorceress Melisande.

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