Five Star Readers’ Favorite Review “Dismantling Cinderella”


Dismantling Cinderella is an inspirational collection of poetry written by Tamsen Grace. In her preface, Grace shares her concern that her daughters would grow up seeing Cinderella as a fairy tale character worth emulating. She didn’t want them to wait and pine for a Prince Charming to rescue them, but rather she wanted to inspire them to go out and take life into their own hands, to relish challenges, and to recognize their own hidden strengths and abilities. And in feeling this way, she had to acknowledge her own need to dismantle her own Cinderella fantasy. In her title poem, Grace fantasizes about a Cinderella who gives her prince “a good swift kick in the ass.” She then describes a prince who loves her “even in the morning when my mascara/drips down my face like a raccoon,” faulting the fabled prince for “not seeing, that a girl with ashes on her face,/is much better than a fantasy,/that just disappears at midnight.”


Tamsen Grace’s poetry is a compelling collection that rejects the notion that a young woman is of value for her dress size or appearance and sets instead self-reliance, self-care and self-love as preferable goal posts in life. Grace’s poems are free verse, and they read beautifully. I was especially moved by her poem, I Am the Wind. This work is stark and economical, giving it a universality that is rare indeed, each thought carefully honed and polished to a precise jewel-like brilliance. She uses alliteration and the repetition of sounds to create a poem that is intense and profound: “I am the wind,/she said/that sweetly soothes/the sun kissed shores./I am the wind that rages,/over ravaged waves/of scorn./I am in tune with the flow/of the sea,/soft yet strong.” Notice how the soft sibilance of the first sentence is counterbalanced by the strength of its successor’s raging “over ravaged waves/of scorn.” While only 14 short lines in length, I Am the Wind is a marvelous poem, one that held me transfixed as I pondered on it. While each poem in this impressive collection is well worth spending time with, this poem was an especially exciting find for me, a harbinger, I’m hoping, of more to come. Dismantling Cinderella is highly recommended.

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

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Tamsen Grace2

About the Author

Tamsen Grace is a published poet, a Ford Model of Courage and a cancer survivor. She has been published in many anthologies, magazines and online poetry sites. She has two poetry books Skeletons in My Closet  and Dismantling Cinderella both published by Creative Talents Unleashed.

Tamsen Grace lives in the Midwest with her children. She enjoys reading, writing, biking and teaching children Martial Arts.

Visit Tamsen’s Author Page At

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