Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fairytale Love by Leanne French

Found an unusual book but it's rather appropriate with Valentine's Day approaching, Fairytale Love: How to Love Happily Ever After by Leanne French.
"With pessimistic divorce and break-up statistics climbing faster than a magic beanstalk, who doesn't want to believe in happily ever after? Fairytale Love presents a playful yet powerful relationship self-help guide that seeks to help you optimistically unlock the secrets of forever after, using inspirational solutions and accessible advice. Fairytales can awaken your creativity, enliven your imagination, and direct your attention to common human conditions and traits of character. They can also entertain, empower, and inspire you to really look at your own ways of thinking and behaving when faced with struggles and triumph. Relying on the positive psychology provided in Fairytale Love, you can find the keys to single-handedly transform your relationship into a more passionate, resilient one. This guide - reveals eighty-eight successful, love-enriching secrets; - awakens self-care and fosters charming ways of being; - puts you in charge of creating your own fulfilling love story; - delivers uplifting, fun ways to treasure each other; and - offers playful, distinctive strategies that increase respect, reduce beastly debates, and make it possible for you to love happily ever after."
Beauty and the Beast Boyle Image 10
Eleanor Vere Boyle, "Beauty and the Beast"

It's gotten 5 star reviews on Amazon...all two of them (and one of them has the same last name as the author). I've become rather skeptical of amazon reviews anyway but I do find the idea interesting, and wonder what fairy tale examples French uses-one reviewer says "the author relates fairy tales to real life issues and topics with both humor and wisdom".

In the fairy tale world there's a lot of disillusionment with the whole idea of "happily ever after," especially the implied "happily ever after=marriage." The disillusionment is understandable, but with our dark and cynical retellings I think it's important to remember that there really are such thing as happy, healthy marriages, even despite all the broken relationships we witness-and I believe those relationships are very much worth fighting for.


  1. I, too, am curious to know which fairy tales were used as examples. Obviously as some of the best known tales involve the hero and heroine getting together when one of them kisses (or more) the other who is dead or in an enchanted sleep, it's not much to start a health relationship with. But Beauty and the Beast certainly involves getting to know your mate. And "Search for the Lost Husband" tales are full of iron shoes, sacrificed fingers, and arduous journeys, symbols of the hard work that goes into maintaining a loving relationship. So there are definitely some examples to choose from.

    1. Yes, fairy tales are so often looked on as being examples of unrealistic/unattainable/even unhealthy romances, in a way it's nice to see that you can see them in the opposite light, but I also wonder if she maybe stretches things a bit too far. The very nature of fairy tales-being fast paced and action based, means that you can't really expect them to be realistic guides to true love, but that it's not really a bad thing, you just have to accept the nature of the genre. But Beauty and the Beast is definitely the first tale that popped into my head too, and in most people's minds probably the most romantic fairy tale which also has a good moral

  2. Interestingly I onceread an article that interpreted the Fisherman from "The Fisherman and his Wife" as the ideal partner, because he gives advice and doesn't push over when decisions concern himself (his refusal to become king), but in the end doesn't force his own opinion on his wife and let's her make her own decisions, even let's her have a "career" wihout being jealous of her status. In the end she suffers the consequences from her actions, which he doesn't try to stop (he doesn't dispute with the fish about the punishment), since she alone is responsible, but neither is she punished, mocked or even left by him for failing.

    I personally would say that her decision to become King, let alone Pope very much concern his own life, which does make the relationship quite unhealthy, but on the other hand I can't imagine thathim refusing to grant her wishes would have resulte in a happier marriage and in a time where divorces where next t impossible his behaviour maybe atully was the best course of action. But it's safe to say that in a modern socity once ur partner becomes a megallomaniac it is safest to break up.^^

    1. That's a very interesting you, I'm a little skeptical of it. I think it's pretty clear when reading the fairy tale that the wife quickly gets out of hand in her demands and should be content like her husband, she's not pursuing a "career" but power hungry. Her actions seem to illustrate what men used to believe was the reason women shouldn't have power and responsibility-the outdated ideas that woman would become dangerous if she wasn't carefully subdued; in the tale I always see the husband as being weak and a pushover. I always struggle with the tale because I like the message of being content, but dislike the gender dynamic.

      But I guess that's the beauty of fairy tales...they can be interpreted in very different-often quite opposite-ways! (Although not every interpretation is necessarily as valid as the next...I haven't researched this fairy tale much so these are just my impressions)