Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (October 27, 2015)
Down the rabbit-hole, where adventures await . . .
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. The White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts—droll and imperious as always—interrupt their mad tea party to suggest a conundrum: If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or if Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. In any case, everything that happens next isAfter Alice.
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After Alice fell through the rabbit hole into Wonderland, her friend Ada and Siam, a refugee slave boy from the states follow her. Ada’s home, the Vicarage in Oxford is like a prison of her own. Ada is not allowed to roam anywhere without her caretaker or her metal braces for her scoliosis. Ada decides to visit her neighbors at the Croft to get away from her baby brother’s constant wailing. Alice has always played with Ada despite her strange braces. When Ada arrives, no one can find Alice, but Ada quickly discovers where it is that Alice disappeared to. In Wonderland, Ada’s braces disappear, and she finds herself hot on Alice’s trail, but never quite catching up.
This was a fantastical tale that followed Alice’s adventure in Wonderland through a different set of eyes. Ada’s adventure is about discovering freedom. She is able to move freely in Wonderland without her braces, she is without the watchful eyes of her caretaker, and Ada quickly discovers herself to be creative, quick, and a good problem solver. Wonderland’s creatures make appearances, though all slightly different than in the original story. My favorites were the Roses, the Head Egg and the reimagining of the Jaberwock. The book went back and forth between Wonderland and Oxford where the families and caretakers of the lost girls wondered about their whereabouts, their opinions on the matter where interesting, but definitely not as fun as Wonderland.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
About Gregory Maguire
Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.
Find out more about Gregory at his website and follow him on Facebook.