Nov 16, 2015

Recent Reads: After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Source: Received from Librarything Early Reviewers Program and William Morrow in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

After AliceAfter Alice by Gregory Maguire
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date:  October 27, 2015


Format: Paperback ARC



Goodreads Synopsis: 
From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis's Carroll's beloved classic

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.
I really wanted to get into this one and love it, sadly that was not the same. Maguire, who so wonderfully recreates classic tales, completely lost me in this one. After Alice is about a girl named Ada who ends up falling into Wonderland after Alice does and searches for her to bring her home.

What I expected from this tale was a play on the Alice story and I did get that but it was interspersed with crazy vocabulary and that made it hard to read through the actual details of the places and characters. 

We also get this crazy back and forth - in some chapters we follow Ada in Wonderland, while in others we are back in England witnessing the aftermath of two young girls going missing. People care but really don't and there is Darwin, yes THE Darwin and  it reads like a social commentary of the time period, only it focuses on two girls that may or may not be missing. It was all very strange and so not what I was hoping for in this book.

I gave this one 2 stars, which means it was Ok, because it was just ok. The Ada adventures were somewhat interesting and the other characters were at least a little entertaining - although I didn't really want to read about them in the ending of the book. Curiouser and curiouser....that is how I felt about this one.


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