Friday, December 5, 2008
Wicked by Gregory Maguire is the story of The Wicked Witch of the West. The story begins on the day Elphaba is born to a Unionist minister and a once heiress to the seat of Eminent Thropp of Munchkinland. Elphaba was cursed from the beginning as she was born with green skin. The story follows Elphaba's life as her family grows, adding a sister and a brother, and then shrinks, losing a mother. Elphaba enters college an outcast, but soon develops a passion for the understanding and rights of Animals, animals that have the power of thought and speech. Once she begins to understand that the Wizard of Oz has some dark plans for Animals, and eventually all of Oz, she takes on a mission against the man and his absolute power. Looking into this life of a well-known literary character beyond the surface of what we've been told about her begins to bring about deep, perhaps unanswerable, questions. What is good? What is evil? Who should have power? Who is right? Who is wrong? Are there really only the good guys and the bad guys? This book has taken a beloved children's story and turned it's history into a thought-provoking adult literary jewel. Read this book if you're interested in questions about good and evil, if you like retellings of classics, or if you enjoyed The Wizard of Oz and want to learn more. I give it a 9.5 out of 10.