Published by William Morrow on October 27, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings
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From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis's Carroll's beloved classic.
When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance?
In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.
Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.
Katie: As a Gregory Maguire fan, I was so thrilled to hear of this book! As far as books by Maguire go, this one has fifty bite size chapters and comes in just under three hundred pages so it is a quick read compared to some of his previous works.
The story starts off with Ada setting out to visit her friend Alice. Ada ends up falling into the rabbit hole, of course, and spends the remainder of the book looking for Alice while navigating this strange new world. While Ada, and Alice for that matter, has disappeared, Alice’s sister and Ada’s governess try to figure out where the pair could have wondered off too.
The chapters alternate between a whimsical Wonderland and 1860’s London. The happenings in the real world chapters are full of Victorian life and some very real historical figures. I have to admit that I wish the story had gone deeper into the wonderland aspect instead of the real world happenings.
Though there were parts of this book that I loved, I cannot say that I loved the book in its entirety. Maguire has a way of pushing his philosophical musings into his work, (which I usually love!) but I felt he may have gone a bit overboard in a few instances.
I felt this book was a fun and charming read. Every time I shared with my husband a quote from the book that I enjoyed, he thought I was nuts; so I would say Gregory Maguire did, once again, leave his mark. If you are a fan of Maguire’s previous works like Wicked or Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister, then I think you’d enjoy this one as well. If you have never read a book by Gregory Maguire, then this one is a great place to start!