Never Let You Go, A Modern Fairytale, Katy Regenery
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Fairy Tales
I loved Katy’s first in the series The Vixen and the Vet, and this one is a remake of Handsel and Gretel. I loved fairytales as a child, though we had few books we had a set of encyclopaedias which had some of the old stories in them, Grimm’s, Aesop’s Fables and the like. These weren’t todays prettied up, sanitised stories but very gruesome at times, with horrible fantasy creatures, blood and gore, murders and not always a happy ending either… I loved the imaginary worlds, the way anything could and did happen, and the dramas in them( adored The Little Match Girl, wept buckets at the ending but constantly re read it anyway!) Its no wonder I always had nightmares…
Anyway Katy’s Hansel and Gretel are Holden and Griselda, who go through a horrific upbringing, foster homes, kidnapping and unspeakable cruelty before Griselda finally escapes. She’s guilt ridden that though she went to police they were never able to find Holden. The Man as they called him, Caleb Foster and Holden have disappeared. She’s never given up hope though, has slowly ben saving to employ a professional to find him, her own searches having gone no-where. Its tough though saving on minimum wage, and its now ten years on since she last saw him.
Then when her awful boyfriend Jonah drags her to a fist fight there he is, and she just can’t believe it. Neither can he but its not all happy ever after. They’ve lived a lot since they parted, had many experiences, and there’s much to tell. Neither Jonah or Holden’s girlfriend Gemma are happy about the reunion, and there’s much animosity from them. Even then just when it looks like finally they may be able to be together there’s a final spanner in the works. Are they ever to find happiness? They certainly deserve it but life isn’t about fairness.
Well, its a really good read, a clever retelling but….whereas with the Vixen I was hooked all the way I did feel at times this dragged. Mostly on the looking back, where the story is told from their childhood POV, where we learn what’s happening to them. I needed to know of course, but found that the story seemed to repeat in ways after a while and I just skipped sections. Its a long read, and usually I’m moaning its too short but TBH here I’d have preferred a bit less of the past, enough to tell the story of course, and complete the Hansel and Gretel remake theme, but let the focus be on them now. I wasn’t keen either on the professor and his wife connection, just seemed a little too convenient – still, truth is often stranger than fiction, but for me that section was just a little extraneous.
For June and July 2015, 25% of all gross royalties will be donated to the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.
Stars: Four, a read that remakes the tale well to fit modern times, and gives much to think about
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers