1991’s Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney movie, and it is the reason I got into the series A Twisted Tale. The book As Old As Time is a darker retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The premise of this book is what if Belle’s mother was the enchantress that cursed the Beast. When I read a summary of the book, I was sold on it and wanted to read the book for myself.
Liz Braswell rewrites the story while adding a side story of Belle’s parents. For the first half of the book, she switches the narrative back and forth between present and past. Braswell does this so well that it feels seamless. A lot of the time I felt like I was watching an episode of TV show “Arrow” due to both using this method of storytelling. I also love the character development of the Beast. He is more heroic in this novel than the movie. Everything in the book makes sense and I could easily believe that these are the same characters from the movie.
*spoilers* However, it is the ending where I have issues. With the Beast being more heroic he deserves to have the curse lifted from him but he ends the book by still being the Beast. I like the idea of exploring what is his life would be like if he became happy as the beast and didn’t care about being human. The problem I with the end of the novel is he has gained the moral compass of someone like Superman and doesn’t deserve to keep being punished for his past mistakes.
I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t recommend it enough. This is a must read for any Disney fan.
Matthew J. Croutch