Review #323

I rated this Nutcracker retelling as 4.87/5 stars.

Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar starts with a prestigious family dinner. Marietta, in 1906, is age 20 and apparently needs to entertain her suitors more thoroughly according to her parents. Neither know that she and her brother practice their own form of rebellion through art; he- a painter and Marietta- a ballerina. I’m already in love with the historical fantasy vibe shown through olden dialogue and their class and attitude.

The pacing is so great. Already at the end of chapter 2 I feel Marietta’s passion and struggle and desire to go down a different path than what is intended and expected of her by society. She wants freedom of choice and I am rooting for her completely early on. Woohoo. 

After chapter 5 I love the whimsical feel with a sprinkle of mysterious dark awaiting around the corner. 

“Dreams hold power, and when one truly believes in them, it feels as if there isn’t anything on this earth you might not achieve.”

Even after meeting the charming and eligible Dr. Drosselmeier, Marietta is still determined to try out for the Nottingham Ballet Company instead of being forced into marriage. The ticking clock ends on her birthday, New Years Eve, which is when her father has demanded she hang up her dancing shoes forever. So she will have to go behind his back in secrecy. However, father is not a man to be crossed. Since her family is so obsessed with their social standing, the stakes are unknown of what exactly her consequences would be if she defies his orders.   

He started out as a potential romantic interest with an unknown past but now he might be the villain?  

Well it’s more obvious after his comment- “It is the strongest women who taste the sweetest when they are broken.” 

Ew. Ugh. Stop. 

Chapter 14 starts the story as we know it’s she enters a new land through a grandfather clock.  

It feels like ever since she entered this new world she has forgotten all about her dreams of dancing. 

Is the king not the same character as the doctor? 

It’s like a mix of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Ten Thousand Doors of January.” 

It’s fun how Dellara and Pirlipata mirror Harriet and Victoria. 

At the halfway mark. I’m really hoping she frees herself sometime soon because I dont want the rest of the novel to be about a woman caged by men. 

Ah this captain Legat is capturing my intrigue. 

It’s never been clearly stated why she shares a room with the two others and why the king has kept Dellara alive in general. 

I wish there were more scenes with the captain. And their “escape” is taking too long. I’m needing some action to happen soon. They’re spending a bit too much time planning their next move. 

The way these balls are described is completely riveting and absolutely enchanting in every way. 

So near the end it seems like men came running to the rescue of three damsels. Then Marietta wants the captain to challenge… I know it’s not realistic to do it herself but I wish there was more creativity of empowering the women a bit more. 

Nevermind. I needed to wait until the next page.

Omg I loved loved loved this book. The only reason why it wasn’t 5 stars was because they spent a bit too much time imprisoned as “incapable, trapped, helpless women.” Obviously they weren’t helpless and had some agency, I just wanted a bit more. 

I was so glad she had her own climatic scene solo after the big shabang scene. 

I was holding my breath for the last page to reveal a specific someone but I can’t give a spoiler of if or if not this person appeared.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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