Midnight in Everwood
by M.A. Kuzniar
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Pub Date 25 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 15 Feb 2022
Harper 360, HQ
The Nutcracker for adults, perfect for fans of Robert Dinsdale’s The Toymakers, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Stephanie Garber’s Caraval
’It was a rainy day that the magic came, and once magic has entered your life, you stay in its glittering clutch forever’
Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered. At the wishes of her family, she will be obligated to marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in her life. Although Drosselmeier’s magic is darker than Marietta could have imagined…
When he constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself walking through a land of snow-topped fir trees leading to a frozen sugar palace silent with secrets and must find a way to return home.
In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 160 members
I loved this Nutcracker inspire novel from M.A. Kuznier. The characters were rich and the use of the Nutcracker as inspiration makes it a great holiday read. I always try and find something to read around the holidays and this one definitely fits the bill. It's magical and a great read!
An Edwardian ballet dancer has to give up her dreams when a new and mysterious neighbor proposes marriage, delighting her parents. However, the man isn't what he seems and her steadfast refusal to his charms finds her transported to an alternate world where winter reigns and magic delights. Once there, she must find her way through the wicked king, his lavish balls and an admiring captain to help herself and other women escape back to their own worlds.
This was very lyrical, the prose was very fitting with the winter wonderland setting and I liked the focus on the women working together to escape!
Such a beautiful, thought-provoking read. A perfect blend of the story we know with new, lush elements that keep the pages turning.
this is such an amazing christmas read!! it's perfect for the holidays and this time of year! i loved every second of this and it was just so cute and precious and you should definitely read it immediately!!
The Nutcracker is one of my favorite things about the holiday season, and when I chanced upon a retelling for adults I knew I had to read it.
This delectable, romantic, hopeful, and tragic story made my heart soar to the highest heights and smile through tears. It was absolutely beautiful and magical, and I am too afraid to give anything away to say much about the plot. Let’s just say a tenacious Edwardian woman is swept away into a world not her own, rife with magic and danger that she must navigate to return home as well as potential romance.
Whimsical and wintry. Perfect for this time of year.
Marietta dreams of being a ballerina. While her parents indulge her by letting her take ballet lessons, they would never allow her to actually become a ballerina. It would mar the family name. She is to marry for for wealth and status. That is her duty.
When she first meets Dr. Drosselmeier, she is fascinated by his inventions. They are magical. Until she realizes his magic is of the dark sort.
This is a magical retelling of the Nutcracker. I really enjoyed the characters. Especially the friendships.
This book is gorgeous. I just can’t get over how pretty the cover is. I enjoyed reading this one. Some of my favorite books are retellings so I was super excited for it!
Thank you to Harper 360 and NetGalley for the ARC. I was intrigued by the concept of this work and was so pleasantly surprised by the execution. I enjoyed the world that was built and the emphasis on sisterhood and the bonds with people that make you stronger. The world was atmospheric and well described. It was a book that had a solid ending but I would have kept reading if it was longer. Great work!
Once I started this book I couldn’t put it down! I have always loved the story of the Nutcracker so I was so excited for a retelling of it! This book was whimsical and fun and kept me turning pages until 2 am! I’ve already ordered a hard copy for my physical shelf because I loved it so much!
The ideal atmospheric winter read. "Midnight in Everwood" is a fresh take on E.T.A. Hoffman's traditional nutcracker story. What impressed me the most was the revision of the Marie (now Marietta) as our main heroine - instead of being a delicate, love-struck girl, Marietta is now an up-and-coming ballet dancer determined never to marry and lose her independence. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever desired a feminist take on this traditional Christmas story.
I was completely captivated by this Nutcracker retelling! Richly detailed with complex characters, this dark, sugar crusted, magical tale will enchant you. I especially enjoyed reading this book at Christmas time and will enjoy rereading it next year.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper 360 for access to this arc.
A retelling of the Nutcracker, Midnight in Everwood is a darkly magical tale about a girl, Marietta, obsessed with ballet. It is 1906 and her parents want her to get married, their sights set on their strange new neighbor, Drosselmeier. But before a wedding can take place, the toymaker causes her to be whisked away to another realm. Marietta is trapped there with other women, forced to dance for the king. There is lots of whimsy, ballet and some romance.
Lush and descriptive, sometimes bordering on a little flowery, Midnight in Everwood fills the senses with winter, Christmas and all the vivid imagery we know from the beloved ballet. Kuzniar tries to fit in a lot of issues from race, class, and LGBTQ+ relationships. Marietta reads as younger than 20, but it is a book written for adults. Marietta can be foolish and impulsive, but is also determined to forge her own way in life and live out her dreams of being a ballerina no matter what society has planned for her. The magical realm of Everwood is dark and dangerous, with rebellion brewing, a metaphor for Marietta's life.
Overall,. an enjoyable retelling perfect for the holiday season. 3.5 Stars rounded up to 4,.
So beautifully written! Such a unique concept too, and though the pacing was slow at times it felt justified due to some lovely world building. I wish I’d read it over the holidays because it gave me such Christmas vibes!
I also thought Marietta was relatable in many ways. To have a protagonist who goes after her dreams when so many things stand in her way is quite inspiring.
Once Marietta reaches Everwood, which is halfway through the book, I feel like that’s when the real story begins. The romance was really intriguing but what made the book shine for me was the friendships she made along the way. The supporting characters in this were so well developed and sometimes felt even more likeable than the main character. Can’t wait to read more by this author!
I almost stopped reading this book about a chapter in because I was having trouble getting through the highly descriptive, slightly stilted style.
I’m very glad I didn’t.
This is the story of Marietta, a young lady cloistered by her controlling family who wishes to pursue her passion as a ballerina. With the threat of marriage looming and her dreams about to crumble, she finds herself forced into the sinisterly sweet magical world of Everwood. Here, darkness and whimsy walk hand in hand and Marietta will require all her wits to survive.
I love how this story uses twisted whimsy. Wonder and terror walk hand in hand in Everwood in a way which reflects the reality of Marietta’s life as a Victorian lady. From a terrifying king covered in wriggling mice, to blood which freezes like jewels into the floor of an ice castle, the imagerie in the story is haunting and beautiful
The emphasis on friendship between women as a way to derive strength and move through trauma was refreshing. Marietta, Pirlipata, and Dellara’s friendship was beautiful to watch form and I believed the way these strong but hurting women slowly opened up and helped each other.
The romance was nice, but this is Marietta’s story and her growth was satisfying and well-developed.
My only complaint is that, although I was able to get into it, the writing style sometimes leaned towards too purple prose, especially when Marietta was in the real world. However, if you can get past that in the beginning and end, this is a beautiful story about friendship, self actualization, and the horror that can lie beneath the beautiful.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Harper 360, for the digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Marietta loves to dance, but her family has decided she is now of the age to be married and that dancing is not an appropriate life choice for her. When a young toy inventor moves into the neighborhood her family throws their efforts into introducing Marietta to him and hopefully making a love match. But Marietta senses something off about him. Her intuition is found to be true when he tries to force her into a marriage and Marietta hides in one of his wooden creations, a clock. Marietta finds herself transported to a magical realm with the kingdom of Everwood. Marietta at first is enchanted with Everwood, but the beauty of the realm is hiding something dark and she finds she can't escape it.
Midnight in Everwood is a retelling of the Nutcracker. The descriptions of the realms are beautiful and the book transports you to a magical land. I loved that the author had her main character fight against the norms of society for her time period by fighting for her own destiny and fighting for her own career. While there is a love story, the main character doesn't allow the new love to sweep her away from her own ambitions and she finds her own happy ending.
Thanks so much to the publisher for the review copy of this book. I am late with this review, but I can't tell you how fun it was to read a book with holiday vibes in the middle of March when I needed a pick me up.
I loved this novel and I already plan on giving it a reread later this year when it is more seasonally appropriate.
A journey through a magical wonderland of imagination. I highly enjoyed this book and the places it took me. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more from this author in the future.
This was a magical, cozy holiday read! The descriptions were lush, and the story heartwarming. A wonderful take on a classic tale.
I've been lusting after this book since I first saw the beautiful sprayed-edge Waterstones special editions, and I'm so glad that its content is as beautiful as its cover. Lush and dreamy and fantastical and reviving my childhood obsession with the Nutcracker? Everything I could possibly want. Thank you so much for the opportunity!
Midnight in Everwood is a delightful retelling of The Nutcracker. This cover is absolutely gorgeous and the story inside is just as mesmerizing. Marietta Stelle is a young woman in Edwardian England on the cusp of adulthood. Marietta is passionate about dancing ballet, but her traditional parents have decided that it is time for her to hang up her dancing slippers and join society as a married woman. Her last performance is set for Christmas Day hosted by her own family. Leading up to the Christmas performance a mysterious toy maker named Dr. Drosselmeier moves in next door. He has his sights on Marietta, but the more she gets to know him the more she has her doubts. Her parents give her an ultimatum, either quit dancing and marry Dr. Drosselmeier or she will be cut off financially. When confronted with the choice Marietta makes a rash decision and ends up in an enchanted world filled with tasty confections, and intrigue. She becomes entranced with the decadent palace of the vicious King, but she doesn't recognize the dangers lurking until it is too late. She becomes entrapped in Everwood as one of the King's "pets" where her love of dancing is used against her. In this beautiful winter wonderland Marietta must use her wits and trust the right people to find her way home. With whimsical writing and colorful characters you can't help but fall in love with Everwood. There was a scene in the forest towards the end of the book that I felt was really unnecessary. Until that plot point this novel read very YA. I think it could have been skipped personally. Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
ABSOLUTE MAGIC. This was wonderful - nostalgic, exhilarating, romantic, beautiful, inspiring. The characters are deep and complex and their growth throughout the novel is great to witness. Every time I would take a pause from reading this book, I would have to remind myself that I don’t live in a sugar-coated fairy tale. But boy, would I! The author’s writing voice was pure magic - very well written - it felt like every word was well thought out and selected carefully in order to provide the best story possible! Definitely recommend! :)
Midnight in Everwood is such a cozy, beautifully written book. I loved all of the Nutcracker vibes. The characters were written wonderfully and I couldn’t get enough. I will be purchasing a copy for the library.
I read this book back in December. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know the original nutcracker story, I know, that’s a classic everyone should know. But I still enjoyed the book all the same. I recommended it to customers and friends a lot around the winter season.
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