Story Title: Beast
From: The Rose and the Beast
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Young girl trades her freedom to a beast in order to free her father from a debt.
Okay this is more like my favorite paragraph than a line, but I love the whole thing.
"Beauty was never overwhelmed or suffocated by the Beast's love, even though, when she left him alone, even for a short time, he looked as if his heart was literally cracking in half. But he understood freedom, her Beast. He understood shackles. He never wanted her to feel chains around her as he had once felt them. But now she had become his chain in a strange way, and he knew it."
I'm going through a serious obsession with anything remotely related to Beauty and the Beast. I think it was set off when I bought the Disney version, went to see a high school production of the musical, and watched some episodes of the 1987 TV show recently. Heck I even watched my old tape of Disney's Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas last week. Anyway, I thought that this story would be a perfect choice for this week considering.
Francesca Block's retelling follows the more traditional telling of the fairytale, as opposed to the more modern versions of the tale. This was a super cool idea, because I don't think a lot of people know of the original version of the story anymore. I was amused that our heroine in this story is actually named Beauty. Can you imagine how difficult that name is to live up to? I loved how the author described the relationship between Beauty and the Beast. They seemed to share an unearthly kind of of connection and empathy. The ending was a bit bitter sweet. Yes, Beauty and the Beast ended up together, but I'm not really sure they got a happy ending. I did think that brought a strange since of realism to the story, and perhaps made a deeper statement about how relationships change after a long separation.