cover image Letters to Zell

Letters to Zell

Camille Griep. Amazon/47North, $14.95 trade paper (337p) ISBN 978-1-4778-2962-2

Griep’s captivating debut weaves together traditional fairy tales with scenes of 21st-century Los Angeles to create an exploration of the conflicts between destiny and desire, with parental influence or absence as a strong subtheme. CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty), three princesses of Grimmland, are devastated when their friend Zell (Rapunzel) unexpectedly moves to Oz to manage a unicorn preserve. The three friends each write letters to Zell, both to deal with her abandonment of them and to keep her involved in their lives despite her physical absence. Through the letters, they all reveal the events, tensions, and misunderstandings that make up their lives, particularly CeCi’s trips to the human world, where she hopes to obtain a culinary degree, and Rory and Bianca’s attempts to reconcile their predetermined destinies with their own dreams. The rich and realistic depictions of these young women, and their touching efforts to navigate old and new relationships in a changing world, display a deep understanding of human nature and the ways that well-meaning attempts to help one’s friends can go awry. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (July)