Former prostitute Mavis Donovan is
rescued and married by Baptist preacher Dennis Douglas.
Twenty years and two daughters later, Dennis disappears and
Mavis takes the girls, Abbey and Bea, West. On the way they
stop at a line shack to stay and meet an odd man, Mr. Rump L.
Stilskin, who gets them stuck there. Rancher Tobias Perkins
doesnít want squatters on his property, so he sends accountant
Wesley Wiseman and ranch foreman Hank Heartly to sort out the
situation, and chaos ensues.
Blue Beard is a fractured
fairy tale retelling of the story of Rumplestilskin. The Old
West dialogue, with its stilted phrasing and ridiculous
comparisons, is amusing, as are the character names. I
enjoyed the sparring scenes between Mavis and Tobias as well.
The problem with Blue Beard, however, is that
there are too many characters and stories going on at one
time. None of them are able to be adequately explored and
resolved because of this. Also, some of the charactersí
motivations arenít entirely clear, which further confused me.
I applaud Barri Bryan for choosing Rumplestilskin (one of my
favorite childhood stories) to retell, but I think this story
would have been better served as a novelette or full novel.