How do you get to ‘Happy ever After’?

Letters to Zell

By Camille Griep

I loved the general format of this book in that it was three girls writing individually (with their individual slant on events that happened to them all) to a fourth girl who had gone away.

To understand the basic premise of the book you need to be familiar with the common story lines of 4 fairy-tale princesses: Snow White, Briar Rose, Cinderella and Rapunzel (Disney versions will do).the princesses

In this book these are real-life girls living in an alternate universe that depends on us – humans – for its existence. As long as we continue to read and to believe in fairy-stories and have imaginations that take us to story worlds then this universe will continue to exist. Within this alternate universe we have come to the point where the princesses have each to come to the end of their stories as written in the books about them. The happy ever after ending that was written for them in the pages. They have to complete all the actions that are written in these pages – with no deviation. Thus they have to marry the prince who rescued them so that the kingdoms will continue.  Three girls have completed their stories and we are now at the point where the fourth and final princess is planning her wedding and thus the completion of her Pages.

However, not everything goes according to plan. For a start these girls have some different ideas as to how their lives should go. They have been reading human magazines! They have realised that living happily ever after has not really happened to them and they are beginning to rebel but if the fourth princess doesn’t complete her Pages then the universe may end as all stories MUST be completed in the way they are written. But sometimes there are hiccups and substitutions and other unexpected occurrences which destabilise the stories.

The letters gradually reveal that these girls don’t see themselves in the way the stories do and want to live a life that is not dictated by the story. They want to be like ‘human’ girls and have careers or divorces or….

Warning: the book has a very sad section that brought tears to my eyes – which almost never happens and is why this book gets the 5 stars – but ends on a more positive note thankfully as the princesses make decisions about their futures and begin to implement them.

This book is an excellent read for those young girls / women who think that life owes them a ‘happy ever after’….



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