Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Matchless: An Illumination of Hans Christian Andersen's Classic "The Little Match Girl" by Gregory Maguire


The beloved New York Times bestselling author of Wicked reimagines Andersen's "The Little Match Girl" for modern readers, putting a new twist on a timeless classic.

In Matchless, Gregory Maguire adds a different dimension to the story, exquisitely intertwining the match girl's tale with that of Frederik, a young boy who builds a city out of trash, and whose yearnings are the catalyst for a better future for himself and his family. Maguire uses his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen's original intentions, suggesting transcendence, the permanence of spirit, and the continuity that links the living and the dead.

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this retelling and revision of The Little Match Girl story.  Maguire gives her a while back story and even shows her seeing her mother as she burns through the matches before she dies.  Frederick and his mother make an interesting addition to the story.  They live together in rented rooms, the mother is a seamstress to the Queen and Frederick steals fish that birds have caught.  On the night that the little girl dies Frederick accidentally gets her shoe which has her key inside.  Events occur that end up making life better for those left behind.

My favorite part is about hope.  I don't want to reveal too much, but something happens towards the end of the book and the feeling of hope that the events give is very strong.  I know that it is not Christmas time, but I love to revisit the Christmas season throughout the year to try to remember the hope and belief and kindness towards others that can get lost in the shuffle for the rest of the year.

Product Details

Pub. Date: September 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback , 112pp
ISBN-13: 9780062004826
ISBN: 0062004824

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