"Ella picked up the last basket of clothing, her arms strained from attempting to carry the heavy, wet mass the twelve or so feet to the drying line."
I picked this book because I wanted to read a Cinderella story. This turned out to be a very non-magical fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella. All the aspects that made the original story wonderful are missing here. There is no fairy godmother, no magical transformation, no running away at midnight and leaving behind a glass slipper for the prince to find, and no sense of awe or wonder at the discovery of the identity of the mysterious and beautiful maiden at the ball since everybody already knows who she is. There are several other problems with the plot as well.
In addition, there are also several typos and errors in the book that should have been edited out such as "He ran his fingers through his hair and rested his knees upon his elbows," or "Her faint worries were for not," or Ella asking "Anthony, were in the world are we?"
What I did like - the only thing I actually like - in this particular retelling is the character of Prince Anthony/John. So often in fairy tales we have just the princesses' POV, but one thing that's different in Jenni James' stories is that the princes are given just as much attention and a personality as the princesses. I have also read James' The Frog Prince and found it to be a much better retelling, even better than the original which I never really liked, and this is due to the inclusion of a very 'charming' prince in her version. And for that I'm going to try another of her books in her Faerie Tale Collection.