Ella Enchanted

1997 novel by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted (1997) is an Newbery Honor book written by Gail Carson Levine. It is also the title of the American movie based on the novel and released April 9, 2004 directed by Tommy O'Haver and starring Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy. The story is a contemporary retelling of Cinderella featuring various mythical creatures.


  • Things change, people change, but that doesn't mean you should forget the past.
  • Has she gone mad, to speak such falsehood?
  • Dear Ella,

    Impatience is not usually my weakness. But your letters torment me. They make me long to saddle my horse and ride to Frell, where I would make you explain yourself. They are playful, interesting, thoughtful, and (occasionally) serious. I'm overjoyed to receive them, yet they bring misery. You say little of your daily life; I have no idea how you occupy yourself. I don't mind; I enjoy guessing at the mystery. But what I really long to know you do not tell either: what you feel, although I've given you hints by the score of my regard.

    You like me. You wouldn't waste time or paper on a being you didn't like. But I think I've loved you since we met at your mother's funeral. I want to be with you forever and beyond, but you write that you are too young to marry or too old or too short or too hungry — until I crumple your letters up in despair, only to smooth them out again for a twelfth reading, hunting for hidden meanings.

    Father asks frequently in his letters whether I fancy any Ayorthian young lady or any in our acquaintance at home. I say no. I suppose I'm confessing another fault: pride. I don't want him to know that I love if my affections are not returned.

    You would charm him, and Mother too. They would be yours completely. As I am.

    What a beautiful bride you'll be, whomever you marry at whatever age. And what a queen if I am the man! Who has your grace? Your expression? Your voice? I could extol your virtues endlessly, but I want you to finish reading and answer me quickly.

    Today I cannot write of Ayortha or my doings or anything. I can only post this and wait.

    Love (it is such a relief to pen the word!), love, love—


  • That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift. (p. 3)
  • "I know you can imitate people just as Lady Eleanor could. Once you imitated your manservant to his face, and he wasn't sure whether he was the servant or you were. You make up your own fairy tales and you drop things and trip over things. I know you once broke a whole set of dishes."

    "I slipped on ice!"

    "Ice chips you spilled before you tripped on them." He laughed. (pp. 13-14)

  • "What a clever daughter I have." Mum Olga beamed at Hattie.

    "As clever as she is beautiful," I said.

  • "I don't suppose your eyes ever pop out," I said.

    "I don't think so." Hattie smiled complacently. "They're too small to pop." (p. 21)