Overview - Set in medieval Venice, this captivating fairy tale retelling by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli explores belonging, beauty, and the transformative power of love through the eyes of a teenage girl. Dolce has grown up hidden away on an island in a lagoon. Read more...
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More About Dark Shimmer by Donna Jo Napoli
Set in medieval Venice, this captivating fairy tale retelling by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli explores belonging, beauty, and the transformative power of love through the eyes of a teenage girl. Dolce has grown up hidden away on an island in a lagoon. She is a giant, a freak, tormented by everyone but her loving mother. She spends her time learning the valuable secret of making mirrors. Following a tragedy, Dolce swims away and lands on an island where people see her as normal, even beautiful. Marin, a kind widower, and his little daughter bring Dolce to live with them in their grand palazzo. Eventually, Dolce and Marin marry. She secretly continues to make mirrors, not realizing that quicksilver endangers her . . . and so evil begins in innocence.
- ISBN-13: 9780385746557
- ISBN-10: 0385746555
- Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
- Publish Date: September 2015
- Page Count: 368
- Reading Level: Ages 14-17
Books > > Fairy Tales & Folklore - Adaptations
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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A comparative giant on an island of dwarves, Dolce has grown up isolated and reviled. She learns the valuable work of making mirrors, but when tragedy claims her mother Dolce flees to Venice, taking refuge with a widowed noble; his daughter, Bianca; and sister, Agnola. Napoli (Hidden) crafts a gorgeous puzzle drawn from fairy tale and medieval history: when the bones of the story piece themselves together, a stunning, beautiful, and tragic reflection of Snow White emerges, with Dolce as a Wicked Queen whose evil begins in the absolute, sincere desire to do good. Using liquid mercury to make mirrors to exchange for the freedom of the dwarves the Venice nobility keep as slaves, Dolce dooms herself to sickness and madness, seeing her once-beloved stepdaughter as a threat. The initial narrative focus on Dolce gives way to include the entwined perspectives of Agnola and her dwarf-lover, Pietro, as they cope with Dolce’s madness, and Bianca’s growth as she takes refuge with seven dwarves. An achingly lovely, sometimes frightening reimagining. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.)