Malinda Lo’s Ash is about a girl, Ash, and the tales of fairies. Ash lived with her mother and father in the beginning of the novel. She was always told stories about fairies by her mother Elinor, much to her father’s dismay. Her father, William, disliked the viewpoint that Elinor had on fairies, but would not disallow Elinor to tell them to Ash. The two, at one point in the novel, got into a heated argument one night while Ash was eavesdropping.
Elinor passed away and left Ash heartbroken. She would sit where her mother’s grave was most nights and stay there late into the dark night. Maire Solanya, the greenwitch, was good friends with Elinor. She would eventually take a big role in Ash’s life when her mother passed away. She too was a believer in fairies.
When her father remarried, Ash was extremely distraught.
One night, Ash went to the Woods to try to find the Fairy Hunt. After successfully finding the handsome men riding on the horses like her mother once told her, the men were angered and sent her back to where she came from. The next day her father came up sick, eventually passing away and leaving Ash with her step-mother and step-sisters.
My favorite part of the book is that it was different from the normal Cinderella stories. Both parents passed, the sisters and step-mother weren’t so ‘evil’, and Ash fell in love with a woman. The story exemplifies how a Cinderella story does not have to be between a man and a woman. In the first couple chapters there was a story of the farmer and the Fairy Hunt, it was a sad story of a man named Thom who was in love with a girl, Grace. She turned into a fairy and Thom wanted to go with her, but Grace turned him down and told him to forget about her. Sadly, he tries to find the hunt again and eventually dies. There were hints of foreshadowing in this tale.