Books, Family, Reviews

Book Review: The Girl Who Became a Goddess

Today’s post mainly is a book review (The Girl Who Became a Goddess), along with some related things to read and see.

The Book Review

The Girl Who Became a Goddess

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Book Info

girl goddess book review

Title: The Girl Who Became a Goddess
Folktales from Singapore, Malaysia, and China
Author: Theresa Fuller
Publisher: Bare Bear Media
Genre: Multicultural Interest , Teens & YA
Source: NetGalley eARC and my Kindle copy

Goodreads || Amazon || Book Depository
Barnes and Noble

Description

The Girl Who Became a Goddess is more than just a book of fables, it is a tribute to the childhood stories of someone who has experienced multiple cultures and learned to love them all. These are tales passed on from generation to generation, some to delight, some to terrify, all to enlighten. As a girl, a mother, and a teacher, Theresa Fuller retells her favorite folk stories through the lens of her own life experiences in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, putting a unique spin on ageless classics.

  • A foolish animal discovers that the Rain forest is a dangerous place.
  • A ghostly boogeyman haunts a fishing village.
  • A beautiful princess learns that words have power.
  • A young boy is willing to sacrifice everything for his family.
  • A woman must decide between the man she loves and the human race.

The Girl Who Became a Goddess is more than a collection of stories, it is a glimpse into childhood memories and a love letter to a young girl from the adult she has become.

My Thoughts

I love folktales and fairy-tales and stories that have traveled across time from that ancient story-teller to each of us as we narrate stories to others. Many of my fondest memories of my grandparents definitely revolve around the tales they told me on moonlit (or dark) nights. And I love retellings or twists on tales told as well. So it was inevitable that I pick this book up (and that cover!)

The author tells these stories as she remembers them; and includes some information about each one providing personal and cultural context that add to the book. So, these are kind of adapted retellings that still maintain the true flavor and ambiance of the original tales.

Note that these are not fairy tales that are the happily-ever-after type. Instead, they take the reader through the whole gamut of emotions. While Kancil the mouse-deer might make you smile with his cunning, you are bound to find yourself feeling sad or angry or something else as you read another tale in this collection.

The book was magical and nostalgic all at once. While many of the stories were new to me, there was a familiarity about them that reminded me of the tales I heard growing up in India (and the many other folk and fairy tales I read from around the world, for example, ‘Stone Soup’). While I did end up with a couple of favorites from this collection, the one that had the most impact was undoubtedly ‘The Cricket Son’

I do wish the black-and-white illustrations had followed the gorgeous color scheme of the cover and that there were more stories included here. But overall, I closed the last page feeling satisfied at a good read.

In Summary

A wonderful collection to have in any library, especially for those who love folktales, fairy tales, or would love to read books from around the world, or just read!

Rating: 4.5/5
Reading Level: All ages (there is something in this for everyone)
Reread Level: 3.5/5

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the digital review copy. These thoughts are my honest opinions of the book.

Side Notes

Reading about Kancil in this collection reminded me of books I read years ago – two other Kancil tales – ‘Mangoes & Bananas‘ and ‘The Sacred Banana Leaf‘ – both of which were fantastically illustrated in traditional Indian art forms. Both books (pictured below) thus were a wonderful mingling of two cultures. You can check my original review here.

Inktober

Girls and goddesses brought to mind one of the pieces I started working on, and as I missed days of Inktober, added more and more to it, but it seems to have never gotten done. But here it is anyway – that rough draft across days of multiple Inktober themes. The completed version will hopefully be done and show up on Instagram in a couple of(?) days.

The goddess featured here is Saraswathi – the Hindu goddess of knowledge, learning, and the arts. While we worship her everyday with a short prayer, the festival of Navaratri celebrates this trinity of goddesses (Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi) more elaborately. She is worshiped in many parts of Asia, including Myanmar, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Note that she is normally featured with four arms but I chose to make her more human with just the two.

And Now You’ve Reached the End of this Post

My previous posts for this month are below. Playing catch up by posting more than one post is the way to get this done now! My Inktober posts – well, they are starting to make appearances on Instagram and here as well! My InktoberWritersEdition still is finding its way out to the light.

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