Disclaimer: I rec’d a review copy of this book. The following review is my honest opinion of this work of fiction.

Rapunzel Let Down
Regina Doman has written five previous “fairy tale” books — Waking Rose, Black as Night, Midnight Dancers, Shadow of the Bear and Alex O’Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves — books written for teens that take a classic fairy tale and re-tell it in today’s terms. Each of these books carry a deeper message for Doman’s readers – a constant message of the good, the true and the beautiful. My daughter — now 21 — has read all of these and my now-teen daughter is starting the series. These books are wonderful for bringing the truths of classic fairy tales into the 21st century.

Doman’s sixth tale, her latest in the “Fairy Tale Novel” series is Rapunzel Let Down (currently available for the Kindle and pre-ordering directly from Doman’s website. This tale is NOT meant for the younger crowd. This is a book that Doman has written for the now-20-somethings who spent their teen years reading her previous books. Rapunzel is fairly graphic with its portrayals of the darkness and corruption in the world today — but there is hope and there is redemption and there is the good, the true and the beautiful.

The tale starts out in a glorious vacation area in Massachusetts. Hermes McCaffrey, the youngest son of a Republican senator, is 18 and tired of being bossed around by his older brothers. He’s from a loving Irish-Catholic family, a family that often has to play second-fiddle to their father’s political career. Hermes is tired: he’s tired of always “losing the girl” to one of them … he’s tired of always being bested in every realm of his life … he’s tired. When he finds Raphaela in her high-security home, he keeps her secret from his brothers and family. Although she’s only 15, Raphaela is wise beyond her years — in booklearning, anyway. Her single-mother, a feminist scientist who adopted baby Raphael years before, keeps her away from everyone and everything in order to “shelter” her, to protect her especially from men.

A princess in a tower just waiting to be rescued by Prince Charming; but Doman’s story goes way beyond the hackneyed, trite fairy tale. Raphaela and Hermes develop a relationship that fateful summer … a relationship that has long-term consequences that will change their lives (and those of their family) forever. And it’s not all good — Doman shows the slimy, filthy side of life in a way that adds to the story. This is not a book for voyeuristic reading; this is a “cautionary” tale for all those who think there are no bad consequences for your actions or that money or power can fix anything. The dysfunctionality of families and society are clearly portrayed in this book; the predatory nature of some people, selfish and self-centered love, and other themes of pride are clear in this book — and the resultant really bad consequences are easy to see.

Parents of teens may want to pre-read to ensure their teen is ready for this book.

I highly recommend this book for those who know the world is filled with the bad, the false and the ugly … but who understand that there is good, there is true and there is beautiful. Despair and giving up (or in) is for wimps; the true heroes are those who keep going … who keep searching for the good, the true and the beautiful.

Well done, Regina — this is a great addition to the previous books, a book that “ages” with your readers and has alot to say to those who have never read your books before.

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