cover image All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother

Danielle Teller. Morrow, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-279820-6

Teller’s charmed debut gives life to the brave and resourceful Agnes, better known as one of fairy tales’ most reviled villains—Cinderella’s evil stepmother. Born a poor servant, Agnes works her way from laundress to running her own ale house while struggling to provide and care for her daughters as a single mom. When tragedy strikes her family, Agnes is forced to return to the manor where she was first a servant. No longer a scared, helpless girl, she becomes much more than a maid, caring for the moody, unstable lady of the house, Lady Alba, nurturing her neglected daughter, Ella, and turning the manor’s finances around with her head for business. Scandal ensues after Lady Alba dies and the lord marries Agnes to continue raising his daughter and managing the manor. When Ella falls in love with the prince, she can’t bear to leave her stepmother and -sisters behind and takes them to live with her at the castle. Although Ella is welcomed, stories at court swirl around Agnes and her daughters. Teller pulls off the spellbinding trick of turning an easy-to-hate character into a strong and conscientious female lead. Agent: Michael Carlisle, InkWell Management. (May)