When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise - to send one daughter to the Beast's castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries.
A classic love story. Where you learn once again that love is more then lust and magic and that it usually takes time for love to grow and in some cases fester. I hate shallow love stories and this is sort of shallow. Although it can be taken in a couple of ways. It's the same reason I hate Shrek. A princess can't be in love with an ugly Ogre. The only way they can be together is if she's just as ugly and horrid as he is.
Well, here McKinley has made Beauty plain in appearance. Which in any other story would be okay, but I sort of felt the point is that she is beautiful (hence Beauty and the Beast) and isn't expected to fall in love with a beast. Which is suppose to be a double lesson of the story good looking prince gets bewitched for being an ass and good looking girl figuring out that sometimes there is more then meets the eye (transformers!) So, both characters figure out they aren't as shallow after all.
In this version, after months of spending time in an enchanted castle, she becomes beautiful. Now here is where I'm not sure about stuff, because was she always beautiful just in denial? or Was she was beautiful in the eyes of the Beast therefore beautiful to the reader? or Was she physically transformed like the ugly duckling? The latter would really annoy me. So, if anyone has read or now wants to read this please let me know what you thought!
Okay now that I have that out of my system over all I really did enjoy this book. Because really deep down this story is about falling in love with a person's soul? personality? core? whatever you call it it's about falling in love with your best friend and that's where it gets a spot on my shelf as a keeper!
So, I recommend it to anyone who likes a good classic fantastical love story!