The Girl in the Golden Bower
By Jane Yolen, illustrated by Jane Dyer
Little Brown, 1994
This original magical fairy tale is a rich, full and satisfying story by master storyteller Jane Yolen, and exquisite artist Jane Dyer.
A lost young woman, is cared for by a woodsman, and they eventually marry and have a girl, Aurea, which means gold. An evil Sorceress believes a magic charm resides at their home. She becomes the cook and caretaker for the woman, who has become ill. The Sorceress shuns Aurea, and creates marvelous meals for the two adults. On her death bed, the woman gives Aurea a comb and says, “It is all I can leave you, my child, all that is mine alone to give. It belonged to my mother, who gave it to me. It will watch over you when I cannot.” The sorceress could not get the woodsman to tell her of the charm and he ‘disappears’. The evil woman began properly caring for the child, but Aurea did not trust the cook. The girl, instead, befriended the forest animals. At last the sorceress put a sleeping spell on the girl and returned a week later to retrieve the comb, but instead a young woman lay in a golden bower. The evil woman started removing the golden items. In time, and in the ways of magic tales, all is turned right and the young girl and her grandfather live happily ever after. But not so, the sorceress.
An enchanting tale, more for the 6-8 year olds, the book takes readers to another time, another land where magic exists and good always wins out. Reading The Girl in the Golden Bower and savoring each page’s beauty is an experience and joy. This 20-year old book is still a strong seller, one that belongs on nearly every girl’s shelf.