Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

by Gregory Maguire


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In this imaginative novel rooted in the rich soil of early-nineteenth-century German Romanticism, beloved New York Times bestselling author Gregory Maguire twins an origin legend of the famous Nutcracker with the life of Drosselmeier, the toymaker who carves him.

Gregory Maguire’s novels have been called "bewitching," "remarkable," "extraordinary," "engrossing," "amazing," and "delicious." Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked, Wonderland in After Alice and Dickensian London in Lost, Maguire now takes us to the Black Forest of Bavaria and Munich of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffman. Hiddensee recreates the backstory of the Nutcracker, reimaging how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how it magically guided an ailing little girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a snowy Christmas Eve. It also brings to life the mysterious godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toymaker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism a migrating strain of a Hellenic mystery-cult, and ponders a profound question: how a person who is abused by life, short-changed and challenged, can access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless. Ultimately, Hiddensee, offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized on the eve of a winter holiday, has something precious to share.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062684387
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/31/2017
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 744,907
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.


Boston, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

June 9, 1954

Place of Birth:

Albany, New York


B.A., SUNY at Albany, 1976; M.A., Simmons College, 1978; Ph.D., Tufts University, 1990

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Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
The basic story was very good but the writing was so convoluted at times, it was like reading in a circle. This is somewhat typical of this author's style. I would have enjoyed this better if the story had been more direct. Lots of sophisticated words where something more in keeping with everyday language would have served the story better (in my opinion). The story got very dull in the middle and I found myself losing interest.
Mel-Loves-Books More than 1 year ago
“It seemed that the world was no more wonderful than Bach. It was no less wonderful either. Magnificent imperturbability, exactly sized, one to the other. What did that mean about Bach, about the world?” ~Gregory Maguire, Hiddensee The writing of this book was beautiful and haunting, exactly as I have come to expect of Gregory Maguire, but the story itself was often dull. I also found myself staring at the book with an empty “this is it” feeling when I had read the last page. The entire book felt like a lot of build up to no point. I wish there had been more direction and maybe a bit more imagination in this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maguire does what he does best here. Fans of Wicked will have a lot to appreciate.
18876111 More than 1 year ago
While this book was sad, I still really enjoyed it. I really liked that this was a backstory, there was an element of adventure to it that I really enjoyed as well. I feel that this book has a more dark tone to it, but it works really well for the story. Are there things that could have been explained better? Definitely, but overall this is an intriguing story.