Sound familiar? Genevieve Valentine’s novel, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, is a fantastic spin on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Set in the glitter of the Prohibition Era in New York City, twelve sisters who slip out to dance the night away in the speakeasies become known around town as the Princesses.
But why do they have to sneak out? Can’t they just go out and Charleston like any other flappers? Well, no, they can’t; the sinister note, common to all Grimm tales, is struck by an impossibly controlling father who barely knows his daughters and hopes to marry them off to wealthy men.
Jo, the eldest sister, is having none of this. Someone simply has to release and rescue all twelve sisters. Because what fairy tale is complete without a happily ever after?
If the fairy-tale element appeals to you, you might also enjoy Bitter Greens, a retelling of Rapunzel by Kate Forsyth; or Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, a retelling of Cinderella by Gregory Maguire.