ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Before Midnight (Once Upon a Time series), by Cameron Dokey

Updated on February 21, 2016


I saw the compilation "Once," which contains this book, at the Walmart where I work. I toyed with buying it for a long time before I finally picked it up in the evening of April 30, 2012. As I write the first draft of this review, it is now May 1, 2012, and I have already finished the first book, "Before Midnight", a retelling of "Cinderella."

I finished "Before Midnight" in several hours. It really is that good.

The Book

"Before Midnight" is the tale of Cendrillon, whose real name is Constanze. The night she was born, a terrible storm blew out all of the fires in their home except for the one in the kitchen. When she finally arrived, just before midnight that night, her mother held her once, then died. The nickname "Cendrillon," which translates into English as "Cinderella," comes not from cleaning, or sleeping in, fireplaces. Rather, she earns her nickname when her first cry awakens all of the fires that had blown out in the storm.

When her father arrives two weeks later, carrying an infant boy her own age, he finds that his daughter has been born and that his wife has died. He curses his wife's grave so that nothing ever grows on it again, and then makes two wishes: 1. That the boy he brought to his home will never leave the property, and 2. That he will never see his daughter again until she can heal the damage to his heart that she caused by "killing" her mother.

Cendrillon grows up knowing that she is the mistress of the house, but as the only other occupants are the servants and the boy her father brought home, who is given the name Raoul and put to work, she chooses to work by their side rather than behave as the mistress of the house.

Every year she plants something on her mother's grave, and every year she makes the same birthday wish -- that the plant will still be alive come her birthday. And every year she is disappointed.

Then, for her fifteenth birthday, she makes a new wish. She wishes for a mother and two sisters for her to love.

There are several things I adored about this book. Primary among them is that finally we have a good explanation for how the daughter of the master of the house ended up being treated like a servant -- she never told her stepmother or stepsisters that was who she was, and since her father had more or less disowned her, they never expected that there would be a daughter to find. They saw her working alongside the servants and assumed that she was a servant as well. The longer it took her to tell them, the harder it got. I would not be surprised if pretty much everyone has had that kind of experience (not being the mistress of the home, but how it gets harder to tell the truth the longer you put it off part), and I could really feel Cendrillon's discomfort.

The overall theme of the book is love. Not just the "romance novel" kind of love, but love of friends and family as well. I was mildly disappointed that the love she and the boy, who is named Raoul, share was more of a sibling and friendship love than a romantic love. However, considering that her relationship with Raoul lacked both a ball and a glass slipper, I wasn't totally surprised.

I just wish I had discovered Ms. Dokey's writing years ago. I could have been reading her work all this time. But, at least now I get to have the enjoyment of catching up. Next on my list: "Golden" her retelling of "Rapunzel".


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)