The Beauty of the Beastly

Beastkeeper, by Cat Hellisen, (Henry Holt & Co.), 208 pages, release date 3 February, 2015

Cat Hellisen’s Beastkeeper reworks the tale of Beauty and the Beast. This is a reworking with teeth—literal and metaphorical—and you won’t find any Disney princesses here. And it’s not just the beast who’s cursed.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, Sarah’s life changes for the worse, not just in the usual terms of loneliness and more responsibilities, but in other, disquieting ways. Why is her father getting hairier? Why has he almost stopped speaking?

There’s little else I can tell you about this book without giving away its secrets. If you want a new version of an old tale, one without the fairytale ending, you’ll want to check out Beastkeeper.

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