Remakes and "Reimaginings" of old tales are all the rage now, and I approached this one with caution, sure that it would disappoint. Remarkably, though, I was pleasantly surprised, even "sweetly" so.
Jackson Pearce's Sweetly, due out in August, is a delightful second look at the "Hansel and Gretel" fairy tale. Dark and ominous, Sweetly puts a modern spin on an old favorite, but not in a groaningly predictable manner. At times channeling the delightful movie, Chocolat, the book pulls the reader into a world that is filled with mystery, secrets, sugary sweetness, and engaging characters. The expected romance is refreshing, and the heroine is pleasantly well-rounded.
With happenstance bringing them to an insular Southern town as they flee a neglectful stepmother and a nightmarish past, sister and brother, Gretchen and Ansel, are faced with a familiar darkness lurking in the forests that surround the stubborn and secretive locals, whose daughters and sisters have been disappearing for years.
The mystical chocolatier, Sophia and the angsty rebel, Samuel add zest to a story that kept me licking my lips for more. Be ready to taste the sweet decadence in August.