Publication Date: January 20, 2014
What happens after happily-ever-after? Read The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith to find out. It’s 30 years into the future for Snow White and Prince Charming died the year before. Snow White’s daughter is getting married but she can’t bring herself to be part of the joy. She recognizes the depression and despair but can’t seem to bring herself out of the emotional void. She visits her stepmother’s apartment and finds her magic mirror that reflects the happy times, the bad times and the terrifying times. Can Snow find her way forward or will her broken heart reunite her with beloved Charming sooner than planned?
The author, David Meredith, gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.
The Snow White of The Reflections of Queen Snow White is not a Disney princess and not the cutesy outlaw played by Ginnifer Goodwin of Once Upon a Time. Queen Snow White was a victim of a jealous stepmother who was increasingly losing her mind with envy and brutalized her young stepdaughter. Meredith’s take on the classic tale is closer to the original in its raw brutality and contains some graphic material. The Reflections of Queen Snow White is a very grown-up look at a character in crisis.
Meredith very cleverly approaches his topic in that he gives Snow White a sounding board. We could have all moody introspection and self-indulgent navel-gazing, but Meredith gives us a dwarf to recap the things of importance in which Snow White has chosen not involve herself. When she heads to the tower and finds the magic mirror, Snow gets the trapped memory of her father who helps her reflect her memories and acts as a therapist proxy. The mirror tells Snow that she sees what is reflected from her memory, and the things that haunt her are horrible, good and awful. A little twist on the tale is that Snow has been poisoned by her stepmother and instead of love’s true kiss, Charming uses the more practical charcoal; the results of the purge are not pretty, but there are some things, once done in front of a spouse you know they’ll never see worse, so if they stayed for that, you’re okay.
The style of the novel lacks consistency in its language. At times it’s very formal and courtly and then slips into casual conversation. The switch doesn’t read as intentional, but more an author caught in the flow of writing a very complex story. I have to imagine some of what ended up on the page was hard to write due to the deeply emotional nature of the text, but Meredith manages to convey the feeling well. He rounds out through the scenes a picture of a little girl living in fear, who grows into a strong woman, but one who lets her husband save her because it’s easy and the end result — who will save her now?
At 155 pages The Reflections of Queen Snow White manages to accomplish everything one might think it should. There is deep symbolism in the story that will be evident to attentive readers. More sensitive readers should be aware of graphic sex and violence. Meredith does not cut corners. I had the feeling when reading that if a scene worked in the story, he was going for it and making it as brutal as needed to enhance his characters. This story will make you look at the fairy tale differently, but I found not a single thing that did not make sense for the character and her world. Will Snow rejoin her daughter Princess Raven or will she be lost to everyone with no one to save her?
There is a theme, or so it seems, of things left festering and threatening to destroy us. The Reflections of Queen Snow White is an interesting as the idea sounds. If you like stories dealing with the human condition, read an excerpt and pick up The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith today.