Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Book blurb: At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the "gift" of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: "Instead of making me docile, Lucinda's curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally." When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella's life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you'll ever read.
Quick endorsement: I’ve read quite a few fun fairy-tale retellings in the past few months, but this is one of those that I first read some years ago…and loved from the very beginning. A great retelling of “Cinderella” that is sweet, accurate to the classic story, and romantically adorable.
Link to review: http://austenitis.blogspot.com/2010/12/ella-enchanted.html