Matchless by Gregory Maguire
"I think I'll tryyyyyy Defyiiiiiiiiing Gravity..."
Okay. Ignore me.
I love me some Gregory Maguire. He's built his writing career doing interesting, dark (even sometimes darker than the original. Those Grimm brothers be fucked up... amirite?) reimaginings of classic children's stories. One of his books even inspired a long-running, award-winning Broadway musical.
I picked up Maguire's reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl (remember when I read that beautiful/soul-crushing book) from the clearance table of my local independent bookstore the other day. It was absolutely worth the $5.98. It's a thin, easily read book that makes you pause for a second in the middle of worrying about when you're going to take the Christmas tree down (so it's January 26th and my very real tree is still up. Don't judge me!), when you're going to finish Absalom, Absalom!, when you're going to remember to get your oil changed. Artfully and simply illustrated, the story of The Little Match Girl intersects with a poor little boy and their lives are changed forever as their paths cross. Maguire's language is beautiful and sparse, just as you would imagine the lives of his characters to be.
The beloved New York Times bestselling author of Wicked reimagines Andersen's "The Little Match Girl" for modern readers, putting a new twist on a timeless classic.
In Matchless, Gregory Maguire adds a different dimension to the story, exquisitely intertwining the match girl's tale with that of Frederik, a young boy who builds a city out of trash, and whose yearnings are the catalyst for a better future for himself and his family. Maguire uses his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen's original intentions, suggesting transcendence, the permanence of spirit, and the continuity that links the living and the dead.