Book review: 'Rapunzel Untangled' features a modern, dark twist on an old tale

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 16 2013 1:00 p.m. MST

"RAPUNZEL UNTANGLED," by Cindy C. Bennett, Sweetwater Books, $16.99, 304 pages (f)

“Rapunzel Untangled” by Cindy C. Bennett contains a modern twist on an old fairy tale.

Rapunzel has golden hair 15 feet long and has been kept in a tower in an old mansion for 18 years by a woman she has called "Mother." One day she finds Facebook on her computer, which she has been allowed to use to do schoolwork. She is attracted to a photo of a young man who calls himself Fab Fane, and decides to risk “friending” him.

Even though she has been told she has an immune system disease that does not allow her to go outside her rooms, she risks a face-to-face meeting with Fane. A friendship begins and then blossoms into a romance. Fortunately, he does not take advantage of Rapunzel’s innocence, but there are a few fairly passionate kissing moments.

As Rapunzel begins to explore life outside her tower rooms with Fane, she learns the truth about who she really is. And it rocks her world.

The story takes Rapunzel from a rather fragile, obedient young woman who knows next to nothing about the world and personal relationships, into a strong person who can face her demons.

And there are demons — a mentally disturbed “mother,” a warlock who practices dark magic, and a doctor who has been bribed to keep what he knows about Rapunzel a secret.

In an author’s note, Bennett admits that the story is dark, but there is a “happily ever after” ending. It is, after all, a fairy tale — or is it?

Besides the kissing moments and overall dark nature, parents should note that the book also contains a shooting and some descriptions that imply ritual abuse, as well as physical and emotional abuse.

The author was born and raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, where she currently lives with her husband and four children. Her book “Geek Girl” was also published by Sweetwater, an imprint of Cedar Fort.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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