Hiddensee: Book summary and reviews of Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

Hiddensee

A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

by Gregory Maguire

Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

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Book Summary

In this imaginative novel rooted in the rich soil of early-nineteenth-century German Romanticism, beloved New York Times bestselling author Gregory Maguire twins an origin legend of the famous Nutcracker with the life of Drosselmeier, the toymaker who carves him.

Gregory Maguire's novels have been called "bewitching," "remarkable," "extraordinary," "engrossing," "amazing," and "delicious." Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked, Wonderland in After Alice and Dickensian London in Lost, Maguire now takes us to the Black Forest of Bavaria and Munich of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffman. Hiddensee recreates the backstory of the Nutcracker, reimaging how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how it magically guided an ailing little girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a snowy Christmas Eve. It also brings to life the mysterious godfather Drosselmeier - the ominous, canny, one-eyed toymaker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's ballet - who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism a migrating strain of a Hellenic mystery-cult, and ponders a profound question: how a person who is abused by life, short-changed and challenged, can access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless. Ultimately, Hiddensee, offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized on the eve of a winter holiday, has something precious to share.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A delightful, mystical, mythical confection by zeitgeist whisperer Maguire...A splendid revisitation of folklore that takes us to and from familiar cultural touchstones into realms to make Freud blanch. Wonderful." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Maguire's characteristic tone is dark and enchanting in his newest fairy tale revision... a powerful story of hope and redemption sure to delight his fans." - Booklist

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Author Information

Gregory Maguire Author Biography

©2008 Andy Newman

Gregory Maguire is the author of several novels for adults and more than a dozen novels for children.

His few adult novels, include Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995), Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (1999); Lost (2001); Mirror Mirror (2003); Son of a Witch, the sequel to Wicked, published in 2005. His most recent work is After Alice published in 2015.

Wicked has been developed as a big-budget Broadway musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, The Prince of Egypt, etc.).

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was filmed for ABC/Disney and aired originally in the Spring of 2002. It starred Stockard Channing and Jonathan Pryce.

Mr. Maguire's work for adults and for children has been published abroad in England, Ireland ...

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Name Pronunciation
Gregory Maguire: ma-gwire (rhymes with liar)

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