Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentino {Stephanie’s Review}

Posted November 16th, 2020 by in *Review / 2 comments

Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentino {Stephanie’s Review}Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentino
Also by this author: The Beast Within
Series: Villains #5
Published by Disney Press
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 390
Format: eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook
Read in: August 2020
Reading Challenges: 2020 GoodReads
Source: Personal Collection
Add to: Goodreads

The tale of the legendary golden flower is widely known. The story has been told many times and in many ways. But always the flower is coveted by an old witch to keep herself young and beautiful. And always the flower is used to save a dying queen, who then gives birth to a princess with magical hair. Not willing to lose the flower, the old witch steals the princess and locks her away in a high tower, raising her as her own. But the princess always finds out who she truly is and manages to defeat the old witch.

And yet this is only half the story. So what of the old witch, Mother Gothel? Where does she come from? And how does she come across the magical golden flower? Here is one account that recounts a version of the story that has remained untold for centuries . . . until now. It is a tale of mothers and daughters, of youth and dark magic. It is a tale of the old witch. - via GoodReads

3 Stars

I’m in a cross stitch Facebook group and Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentino was the group read for August. I’ve also read The Beast Within and thought it was an interesting perspective.

I honestly didn’t love the plot of Mother Knows Best. I’ve never seen the movie Tangled so I didn’t really know what to expect. Perhaps not having seen Tangled before reading set me up to not find it as enjoyable. I thought the way Valentino tied her story back to Sleeping Beauty was unique and it kept things interesting. My heart did break for Gothel. She went through an awful lot and didn’t have anyone to process it with. Of course, she’s a villain so she doesn’t make the best of decisions or even really try to redeem herself.

Honestly there weren’t a lot of good characters in Mother Knows Best. I really liked Sir Jacob and would have loved the chance to know more about him. I would have liked to know more about the sisters’ parentage. I feel like that was alluded to a lot and if I remember correctly, it wasn’t really ever resolved.

I think the most reasonable character was Hazel. This might be due to both of us being the eldest sister. I didn’t love Gothel but I was able to understand her and her motives. I think that’s the whole point of this series. It proves that the world isn’t as black and white as we’d like to see it sometimes. I think that’s important for everybody, but particularly for middlegrade audiences who are just learning who they want to be.

While I didn’t love Mother Knows Best or find it terribly enjoyable, I was entertained and there was a valuable lesson in it.


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2020 GoodReads

2 Responses to “Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentino {Stephanie’s Review}”

  1. Hugo Bonnard

    I also loved Jacob and Hazel ! I understand Gothel’s motivations but she was never purely good. Even as a young girl, there was evil within her.

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