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Welcome to the Middle of the Road. This is a combined book review blog, one that is both cherished and prided over. We want everyone who comes to our page to find something of intrest to them, so when they walk away they are either satisfied or intrigued. We are both avid readers and have a passion about books that few of our other friends do. Both of us are happy to share our experiences in the book world and at times some goodies too. Enjoy your time here, and if you are anything like us, you could spend hours just wandering aimlessly through the world of books, just like a lazy afternoon down the Middle of the Road.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Review: Ash

Writing this review is going to be a little more difficult than most. Particularly because I actually have a few complaints.. well maybe just one complaint :)

I especially enjoyed the wonderful retelling of a classic. The added twist of the fairies and the 'Cinderella' characters ability to fall in love with someone besides the prince was grand.

What I didn't like about this book was the fact that it really took me forever to get into it. I was actually tempted to put it down and move on, to something that would hold my attention better. There was too much detailing in the beginning, explaining why she was becoming a stepdaughter. I did however enjoy the book opening on her mother's funeral. The father was too distant, and focused on his own feelings to really have as much a part of the book as he did.

Other than that small detail, once I was finally able to get into the book.. I really got into it. I couldn't bare to put it down.

Ash is from a small town, growing up a single child to her loving and devoted mother, and more absent than not yet loving father. The day her mother died was probably the worst day of Ash's life, up till that moment. Her mother had loved her and cared for her, teaching her that love is the best thing in life. But after her death, Ash only felt empty, there wasn't anyone to remind her how important love was.

Her father was a business man, always riding off to Seatown. And to no one's surprise, he left shortly after her mother's funeral, to go back to work. Left with Anya the house keeper, Ash spent every night at her mother's grave. Remembering all the happy days that were gone now, and wishing with everything she had that she could somehow have her mother back.

With her father's return from Seatown, he had in town a new wife and two new children. Her stepmother, Lady Isobel, was not the loving devoted mother that Ash had once had. In fact the woman barely cared that Ash was even around.

It wasn't long after his return, and marriage, that her father fell ill. The Greenwitch of her town did almost everything she could to help him, but Lady Isobel wasn't having it anymore. The packed their belongings and moved closer to the city. Her father passed away within weeks of them arriving.

Now orphaned in a home where she was not only, not loved, but she was also not wanted. Claiming that her father had tricked her into marriage, and had left too  many debts in his death, Lady Isobel put Ash to work. She became the house maid, working off debts that she never knew even existed.

Being drawn to the Wood behind her new home, Ash often went for walks. It's how she met her first friend, Sidehean. He was cold and otherworldly, a Fairy in every sense. Even though she had grown up with fairy tales, and knew she should stay away from him, Ash felt drawn to him, and couldn't resist seeing him in the Wood.

As the years passed, Ash became more and more fond of Sidhean. Realizing that she truly missed him when she had to leave with her Stepmother and stepsisters. He was her only friend. Until she met Kaisa.

At first Kaisa was someone Ash revered as a superior. The Royal Huntress would speak to her in small bits, only humoring Ash's curiosity. Or so she thought. As time progresses and they began happening upon one another more and more in the Wood, Ash began to feel a kinship with Kaisa. The same kind she felt with Sidhean, a friendship was growing.

Ash and Kaisa spent everyday that her stepmother and stepsisters were gone, together. The walked the paths in the Wood, and rode on beautiful horses. Becoming closer everyday. After the Royal Hunt, Ash now owed her fairy a favor. She knew that her debt would be repaid soon, but she was happy for once. And knew her debt was well worth it.

Getting close to Kaisa awakened something inside Ash. Something that had been dead since her mother had died. She was starting to understand what love could feel like. But even as she thought that of Kaisa she would feel as if she was betraying Sidhean in the same breath.

The Yule ball brings in conclusion what Ash has finally figured out for herself. She knows that this night is either now or never. Wanting to see the one she knows she loves one last time before she may never return, Ash makes a spectacle of herself, but gains exactly what she wanted.

Repaying her debt is one of the hardest decisions Ash has ever made, but it's time, and she is an honest person. Love has gotten her all the way to where she is now, and it might just get her out of this as well. She only dares to hope.

Again, once I gt into this book, I LOVED it. I would def recommend it to any of my friends who love a good fairy tale with a happy ending :)


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