This collections refashions traditional Finnish tales from a female point of view, reassessing women traditionally dismissed or demonised to see what their perspective reveals.
The book is woman-centric and examines the way gender and class have been used to deny access to power. It shows how powerful the traditionally female realms of food and care taking can be.
This is a beyond awesome feminist fantasy for young people (and adult people too). It bears little resemblance to the awful film sharing its name.
Ella quite literally has to be obedient to anyone who asks, a ‘gift’ from her fairy godmother (Who, like many people in patriarchal society, thinks that obedience in young women is somehow a virtue). So she goes on a journey to get her curse lifted, so she can be her own girl. Lots of emphasis on her friendships, growth, and in the end, she gets to save herself without depending on someone else to do it for her.