Furthermore – A deliciously colorful Alice in Wonderland retelling

  • TitleFurthermore
  • AuthorTahereh Mafi
  • Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Retellings
  • Publication Date: August 2016
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
  • Rating: 4/5 stars

A captivatingly colorful and whimsical retelling of Alice in Wonderland, Furthermore pushes the boundaries of imaginative and intriguing.

I wasn’t expecting much when I picked up this book, and frankly, it was only the colorful cover and the author’s name that caught my eye. I expected the book to be too young for me, and too silly for me to enjoy.

I love being wrong.

Furthermore has such a whimsical, attractive voice, and I couldn’t get enough. It’s certain “young,” with the main character, Alice, being only 12 years old, but the writing is so good that even adults will enjoy it.

The Wonderland of this book, Furthermore, is more colorful, more uncanny, and more imaginative than even Carroll’s Wonderland. There was no Red Queen, but there didn’t have to be to create tension – almost all the characters in Furthermore were dark in their own way.

Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. 

I loved how flowery the prose was – and how Alice eats actual flowers. And speaking of eating – the denizens of Furthermore have an unfortunate habit of eating its magical visitors. Even Alive barely escapes being munched on by the skin of her teeth.

I felt as if I were being told a story in person, with Mafi addressing us “Dear Reader,” or having conversational asides that lifted the storyline even further. It all made it feel as if Alice had told Mafi the story herself a while ago, and Mafi is recording it just for us.

“Red was ruby, green was fluorescent, yellow was simply incandescent.
Color was life. Color was everything.
Color, you see, was the universal sign of magic.”

Color is the soul of Ferenwood, and it was the soul of this book. I’ll be reading Whichwood next, Mafi’s sequel to Furthermore.

Favorite quotes in Furthermore:

“Why must you look like the rest of us? Why do you have to be the one to change? Change the way we see. Don’t change the way you are.”

“Best to introduce yourself to patience now, so that it might find you when you call upon it later.”

“Love, it turned out, could both hurt and heal.”

“Alice would choose to love herself, different and extraordinary, every day of the week.”

“Alice dropped her head, because sadness had left hinges in her bones.”

3 thoughts on “Furthermore – A deliciously colorful Alice in Wonderland retelling

  1. Mal says:

    The cover definitely caught my eye. I do enjoy a good retelling, especially my childhood tales. Thank you for reviewing this, I’ll be on the lookout for it.

    I also enjoy that you add favorite quotes to the end of your insights. I think I’m going to steal this and add to my own.

    Keep up the great work and sharing with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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