Snow White and Rose Red – Original Tale

I know it seems like I am really, really behind on the Fairy Tale Challenge I signed up for at the beginning of the year over on Tif Talks Books.  The truth is that I’m just really, really behind on blogging about what I’ve read!  I signed up for the Happily Ever After level which means I’m aiming for twelve fairy tale selections which can include original tales, modern adaptations, or movies.  This is my third post, I’ve already reviewed Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman.  There’s still time to sign up for the challenge and still plenty of time to get your readings/watchings in (the lowest level is only three selections!)



Recently I have done a lot of re-reading of original fairy tales. Why?  It might have something to do with publishing a short story collection of fairy tale adaptions.  Maybe, kinda, sorta.  One of my favorite fairy tales, and one that I think doesn’t always get the public acknowledgement it deserves is Snow White and Rose Red.  A lot of people hear this title and think it was something to do with THAT Snow White.  Nope!


Snow White and Rose Red is the story of two sisters (guess their names…) who live with their widowed mother and befriend a talking bear.  They also get into some trouble with a really jerky little dwarf.  I don’t want to give too much away but THE BEAR IS AN ENCHANTED PRINCE.  Oh, did I just give away the end?  Oops.  So really, this story is much more like East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon or similar “enchanted bear/animal prince” stories.  But with sisters!  And the jerky dwarf!


Snow White and Rose Red as illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith, 1911


As I said, I adore this story and so when I was putting together Views from the Tower I wanted to put a Snow White and Rose Red adaption in the collection.  I love setting tales in new places and since I moved to Helena, Montana a little over a year ago, I’ve felt these mountains were the perfect setting for Snow White and Rose Red.  My adaptation – Mountain Rose – is set just after the gold rush era in the Montana mountains and is told in first person by Rose Red, or Rosie, as her sister calls her.  Just for fun, here is the opening paragraph:


My mother always said there are two types of people: those who grow roses and those who don’t. The obsession of the former cannot be properly understood by the latter. My mother was a magician with roses; coaxing them to flourish in the stony, dry soil of the Montana mountains was her pride, joy and frustration. She used to talk, in a dreamy far away voice, about the way roses grew back east. When she’d come out west with my father, she’d given up a lot, including that garden. But she’d brought seeds with her and had fought against the long, harsh winters and the just as long and harsh summers and triumphed. Two bushes flourished outside our little cabin, one with flowers as crimson as freshly spilled blood, and the other with blooms as icy white as a Montana January.


Have you read Snow White and Rose Red?  If you were going to set it in a new location where would it be?


5 thoughts on “Snow White and Rose Red – Original Tale

  1. Wow, I love your opening paragraph! There’s so much in it – devotion, sacrifice, longing. Beautiful!

    I’m not actually familiar with this tale. Perhaps I would set it in the Adirondacks in upstate NY. Along with Montana, that has got to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

  2. I love, love, love this tale! It is one of my favorites too!! And, I love that you set your tale in the mountains I know (have I mentioned that I grew up near there?)! Is this book only available in electronic version? (*whispers* I still don’t own an e-reader!)

    1. Tif, yes I think it’s so cool that you grew up near here. I hope if you read Mountain Rose you approve of my Montana descriptions 😉 Right now it’s only available in ebook format but the paperback is coming…soonish 😉

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