Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Gregory Maguire #bookreview

Having not seen the musical I went into this story completely blind and thoroughly enjoyed it. Wicked is the origins story of Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West and explored the notion of what is good and evil and just how she turned out the way she did. Maguire creates a rich back story of the little girl born with green skin and different from other children right from the offset. I enjoyed discovering how she grew up and the teenage years at college slowly building friendships, her relationship with her sister and developing her personality. What surprised me was the level of activism and politics with Elphaba becoming involved in the Animal cause where talking animals were persecuted and killed.

For me it dipped in the middle with her relationship with Fiyero but picks up again as she travels to Vinkus seeking redemption for events possibly out of her control. We never do find out who leads the opposition or who the evil (or was she) Madame Morrible was working for and if certain prophesies ever came true..I would have liked to no more about her brother Shell. He was mentioned so little I’m not sure why he was even in the book at all. I would have liked closure on one or two little things and more about where the skin colour could have come from. I was pleased however to have an answer to one troubling question: if you’re allergic to water – how do you wash??

But I’m nit-picking. I enjoyed reading alternative viewpoints of such a well loved story. Right now I’m off to book tickets for the musical 🙂

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