Nottingham, 1906. Marietta loves to dance more than anything. When she rises en pointe or glissades across the floor, she feel her spirit come alive. But her father is not at all convinced that it’s a proper pastime for his only daughter. He will allow her one last performance on Christmas Eve, and then no more. Marietta schemes with her brother, Frederick, who urges caution, but Marietta is determined to escape her gilded prison. Meanwhile her mother has schemes of her own, as she invites the town’s eligible bachelors to dine.
One in particular intrigues the whole family–the mysterious Dr Drosselmeier, a former docto, now toymaker, who has moved in across the street. Marietta’s parents approve the match and the doctor is certainly willing, but Marietta is uncertain. On Christmas Eve while fleeing his advances, she finds herself in another world, a world full of sugared enchantments and danger.
I’m sure you’ve guessed already that Midnight in Everwood is a retelling of the Nutcracker, one for adults, with a darker magic at its core. Marietta’s time in Everwood is not mere enchantment, but contains moments of danger and terror. It also serves as a metaphor for a marriage and life she does not want and does not choose.
Everwood has its moments of enchantment however. One is the close relationship Marietta develops with her 2 fellow prisoners. Another is the description of the gowns and foods, stuffed with magic, although everything was so sweet it almost make my teeth hurt, and I longed for the inhabitants to get to eat or drink something savory! However, the book itself is not so saccharine. It has a good blend of light and dark, sweetness and terror, love and obsession. A well-rounded fairy tale to warm your winter night!