In every story, there are three truths. One side, the other side, and what really happened. This is the first in a series of upside-down fairy tales, focused on the “truth” about Cinderella and her stepsister, Javotte, told from the perspectives of all the main characters: Cinderella, Javotte, Cinderella’s father August, and her stepmother, Jaqueline.
Carcassonne, France – 17th Century
August Tremaine returns early from a business trip to find his beloved wife in the arms of a footman. In his rage, he throws his wife’s lover through the window, then has his wife imprisoned in a convent. A year later, an infant is delivered to his door, with a letter from his wife pleading with him to care for the child or find a suitable home; otherwise, the child will be placed in an orphanage – a place with an enormous infant mortality rate.
Upon seeing the child’s face, so like the wife he mourns, August decides to raise her as his own. They live happily for thirteen years; Gabriella is doting and pliant towards her father, and August is blind to the dark side of his adopted daughter – a side apparent to those she doesn’t care to impress.
When August remarries and brings Gabriella a new mother and two sisters, she puts on her best face, secure in her place in the household. But when August dies, her stepmother sees Gabriella’s true face. When she finds out that Gabriella is a lowborn bastard, she puts her in her rightful place of servant, and renames her “Cinderella”, in hopes that Gabriella will eventually be forgotten by all.
Gabriella appears to accept her new station in life, while plotting revenge on her former family. She will find a way to reclaim her rightful place in the world, and will destroy her stepsister Javotte’s chance for happiness to do it.
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