Every once in a while a book comes along that leaves a lasting positive impression. THE COTTAGE IN THE WOODS is such a book. While its main theme is the story behind the story of Goldilocks and the bears (why Goldilocks was in their house, what happened to her after she was found in Baby Bear's bed, and what was really happening in the Enchanted Forest where the Bear family lived), the book is packed with so much more.
I was given the opportunity to read and review this book, and I'm glad I did. Before I started reading it, though, I thought it would just be a fluffed-up story of the three bears, entertaining but with no real substance. But, I was wrong. According to author Katherine Coville, there was much more going on in the house than what the reader learns in the children's fairy tale.
For instance, the bears were called the Vaughn's. They had a young cub, named Teddy, who was looked after by Nurse. Ursula comes to the house to be Teddy's governess. She is the narrator of the story and she tells the tale from her perspective, making the story public many years after the fact. Not only does the reader learn the “real” story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears (in addition to many other things, the reader learns Goldilocks is not the little blond-headed girl’s real name), the reader is taught lessons about love, jealousy, prejudice, justice and faith.
Coville tells a familiar tale with a lot of unexpected twists. She includes characters from other well-known fairy tales and nursery rhymes who live in the Enchanted Forest. She writes with wit, humor and a healthy dose of truth. As the blurb on the book says, “Filled with bold twists and turns, this is a beautiful coming-of-age story wrapped in a tale both well-loved and wholly unexpected.”
I couldn't have said it better myself. Do yourself a favor and read the "real" story of Goldilocks and those three bears.