First edition, 1997
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|LC Class||PZ8.M1793 Ro 1997|
|Followed by||Spindle's End|
Rose Daughter is a retelling of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley, published in 1997. It is the second retelling of the tale that McKinley has written: the first being her 1978 story, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast.
A Merchant loses all his money when his ships are lost at sea, and is forced to move his three daughters to a lonely countryside house called Rose Cottage. His youngest daughter, Beauty, notices a sick looking thorny rose bush growing in the garden and decides to tend to it, as roses are magical flowers. A year later, the Merchant hears word that one of his ships might have made it back and journeys to find out if it's true. He asks his daughters what presents they would like him to bring back, and Beauty requests a rose, as her bush has not blossomed.
The rumor turns out to be false and Merchant heads home empty handed. On the way he gets lost in a snow storm, and ends up at a magnificent castle where he is given food and shelter. As he is leaving he notices a beautiful rose on a table and decides to take it back for Beauty. This enrages the castle's owner - a terrifying beast. When the Merchant explains his actions, the Beast agrees to let him go on the condition that Beauty comes to live with him in the castle.
The main part of the book follows the basic plot of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast but with a few alterations: Beauty stays at the house for what seems to be seven days, during which she revives the roses in the Beast's greenhouse and calls small creatures (bats, birds, frogs/toads, hedgehogs) back to the palace, and the Beast has filled the roof of his mansion with beautiful paintings.
When Beauty returns to the Beast and declares her love for him, she is given a choice. Either the Beast returns to his human form and regains his wealth and power, thereby also returning her family to their former status, or he stays as is and they live a peaceful peasant life in the village. Beauty chooses the latter, as that is the form she fell in love with.
Anne Bachelier has illustrated Rose Daughter in a limited edition as Rose Daughter-A Re-Telling of Beauty and the Beast.
- "Reflection and Reflexion: Female Coming-of-Age, the Mirror Stage, and the Absence of Mirrors in Robin McKinley's Beauty and Rose Daughter" by Evelyn Perry