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- The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin -

Published : 21st January 2021

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Format : Kindle, Audio, Hardback

Genre : Fantasy

Review #5/2021

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* All words highlighted in Grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites. Where ever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.


And they lived happily ever after . . . didn't they?

Cinderella married the man of her dreams - the perfect ending she deserved after diligently following all the fairy-tale rules.

Yet now, two children and thirteen-and-a-half years later, things have gone badly wrong.

One night, she sneaks out of the palace to get help from the Witch who, for a price, offers love potions to disgruntled housewives. But as the old hag flings the last ingredients into the cauldron, Cinderella doesn't ask for a love spell to win back her Prince Charming.

Instead, she wants him dead. . . .


Thank you @Hodder&Stoughton for this advanced copy

My Review

When I first saw this one I wasn't quite sure wether or not it was for me but this soon quickly dissipated as soon as I completed the very first page.

This is a story about Cinderella, yes! but it is not as you know it. This is Cinderellas story with a naughty and dark twist, after she got her happy ever after and what happened in the thirteen and a half years of her marriage to the handsome Prince Charming that led her to the mountain top, on the fringe of having a spell cast that will change her life forever and bring about the death of her not so faithful and alluring husband.

The story starts at the end, with Cinderella standing beside the cauldron with the Witch on one side of her and the disapproving Fairy Godmother sulking on the other, thirteen and a half of her husbands hairs are in her palm and she has to drop them individually whilst telling what happened through out her marriage. What she paints is a dark story of a woman in despair. Alone within the palace even though she is surrounded by staff and has two young children as well as two faithful mice to tend her. The problem is her husband pays her no attention. Sleeps in a separate wing and all under the precipice that its for her own benefit.

When she does come across him doing something he shouldn't with one of the maids she always makes an excuse for it until it gets to the point where she can no longer excuse her husbands behaviour and upon seeing a new portrait of himself in his study, arms reaching out to her pleading she decides that he must be under a spell and that her true and loving Prince is trapped. Cinderella tries desperately to break this spell by travelling far and wide, hand stitching nettle shirts and not speaking for months on end but as the years go by and nothing changes regardless of the hardships she has to go through, she starts to realise that maybe he isnt under a spell after all and that maybe, just maybe its just who he is.

Cinderella just wants the happy ever after she was promised and she will stop at nothing to get it, but what it will cost her she isn't sure she is willing to sacrifice.

There are a lot of fairytales and Princesses threaded throughout this narrative and every single one is so brilliant that it isn't until you have met the character that it suddenly dawns on you who it is meant be.

Why I Loved It

Aside from being so beautifully written, this was a fantastic read that has the beginnings of the classic fairytale but is then weaved with adult twists. Dark, spellbinding and extremly clever I honestly could not put this one down. I loved how the main character seemed sometimes mentally and emotionally so fragile yet others powerful and strong enough to do whatever needs to be done to change her situation and get her life spark back.

I adored every single character in this story and how, at the author makes the story come full circle at the end was just pure genius.

This was a hard review to write as I do not add any spoilers within my reviews but I can promise you that by the end of this book you will be recommending it to everyone.

The only part I wasn't overly keen on was the infill's of the perspectives of the mice but aside from that this was one that I thoroughly enjoyed and have already passed onto my friend to read.

You will not be disappointed by this one. Add it to your Wishlist!




Buy from

๐Ÿ›’ Waterstones

๐Ÿ›’ Amazon

๐Ÿ›’ Bookshop UK - supporting local businesses

Meet the author

Olga Grushin is the author of four novels. Her first novel, The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006), won the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and earned her a place on Granta's once-a-decade Best Young American Novelists list. Her books have appeared on The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of the Year and The Washington Post's Ten Best Books of the Year lists. She has published short stories and nonfiction in The New York Times, Partisan Review, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and elsewhere.

Grushin was born in Moscow, spent her childhood in Prague, and moved to the United States at the age of eighteen, becoming the first Russian citizen to receive an American college degree. She writes in English, and her work has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives outside Washington, DC, with her two children.


Connect with Olga



Books by this author

Forty Rooms

The Concert Ticket

The Dream Life Of Sukhanov

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I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?

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