Red Riding Hood: Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
When she was seven years old, Valerie looked death in the eye when she came face to face with the monstrous beast with whom her village had an understanding: once a month a sacrificial offering would be left for the vicious wolf in exchange for sparing the lives of the people.
At 17, Valerie’s world would shatter when the wolf breaks the pact by killing her beloved sister Lucie. Furthering her heartbreak, Valerie is betrothed to Henry, the son of a wealthy blacksmith, which means that she cannot be with her true love, Peter; who just returned to her after 10 long years.
Caught between two men fighting for her love and grieving for her sister, Valerie is given the final ultimatum by the wolf—go away with him or everyone she loves will die. As the blood continues to spill, Valerie can’t help but notice the brutal attacks coinciding with the return of Peter. Despite it all, Valerie has to decide if she loves Peter enough to go with him, even if he is the wolf.
With similar imagery and tone to Sleepy Hollow and containing a hint of The Village’s mystery, Sarah Blakely Cartwright has written a novel based on David Leslie Johnson’s screenplay for the re-imagined fairy tale—Red Riding Hood.
Despite its “period piece” setting, the voice is modern and engaging, yet still maintains the integrity of the original—although the author’s effort at working in the classic lines are applauded, they come off as a bit forced and out of context.
As I was really looking forward to reading Red Riding Hood, I have to say it was less than expected, but far from disappointing. Blakely-Cartwright throws in enough twist, turns and doubt to keep you guessing and the action pumping; and just when you think you’re about to find out who the wolf is…
To coincide with the release of the feature film, the final chapter will appear on the website www.redridinghoodbook.com on March 14, 2011 at 9 o’clock AM Eastern time.
Until then, we can only speculate on whether or not Little Red Riding Hood will live happily ever after.