Getting Lost to Be Found

Original publish date: 24 July 2014

We all know the story of Cinderella. But we rarely think about what happens after “and they lived happily ever after.” Is it really happy? Well, what happens after the “ever after” is a vague ball of malleable content and Ron Vitale explores what happens “after” in Lost.

Twelve years since her mother’s untimely death and four years since she met the Prince at the ball, 20 year old Sophia, better known as Cinderella, feels a bit stir-crazy in her marriage to the Prince. With her inability to produce an heir to the throne and the Prince’s attentions straying, Cinderella worries she’s in a loveless marriage and has made a mistake. To ease her mind, she keeps a diary in which she writes to her fairy godmother who helped her meet the Prince in the first place and, on rare occasion, her fairy godmother writes back on the page a la Tom Marvolo Riddle writing to Harry Potter in his dairy.

With political unrest between England and France due to Napoleon, family security is of the utmost importance. So when the Queen, who doesn’t like Cinderella, conspires to assist Cinderella conceive an heir, it shouldn’t have been too surprising, yet Cinderella doesn’t quite trust it. In the midst of consulting a witch, Cinderella learns not only that she’s pregnant but that she also has magical abilities.

The story retained the important bits of the traditional tale to remain familiar and imbues its unique markers to distinguish it as its own entity. The tale of the sliver fox at the beginning of the story provided good foreshadowing of what would take place during the rest of the story. While it makes complete sense to involve an element of magic as the Cinderella tale contains magic as a catalyst, the involvement of faeries was a logical addition to the fairy godmother aspect of the traditional tale and the extension of magic to include witches was interesting but reasonable.

Personified animals are a staple of fairy tales, so the fact that the silver fox can talk and can appear as a man fits; however, arguing that they can essentially time travel and alter the past seemed to have gone a bit too far, particularly in the relatively short span of time that this particular magical element was moderately developed. I started to get rather confused as to what was going on, particularly with the abrupt change from travelling entries to odd rantings in Cinderella’s dairy to miraculously being in England when she had made it clear that she was in America. The latter portion of the story derailed me quite a bit from how the story was initially framed and conceptualized.

Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

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