Fairy tale retellings usually add a twist into the story - sometimes major; sometimes minor - but Mia Kerick's approach is darker and more striking than usual as she takes the Rapunzel story and adds a notably tragic element which embraces everything from a child's sale (a strange kind of "win-win" situation which gives his needy parents both money and a better life for their son) to the evolution of a strange relationship that can only be changed by a handyman's intervention.
The vision of Rapunzel as being a young man in need of rescue is indeed quite a different perspective, and as the story line evolves, readers will come to realize that a change in gender isn't the only difference between this Rapunzel and its classic predecessor.
From insights on dysfunctional family relationships and the experience of being a victim in a gilded cage (which also holds its benefits) to the efforts of an outsider to change the destiny and entrapped position of the alluring, damaged Lucci Grimley, In a Gilded Cage requires of its readers a flexibility and liberal outlook. Those without such attributes who unsuspectingly pick up the novel might find its tenants challenging and possibly offensive; but Mia Kerick's intention isn't to shock or disgust; but to provide a powerful story that winds family relationships, interpersonal connections, and the concept of a gilded cage's allure and dangers into a compellingly different vision of the Rapunzel mythos.
If you never leave your mansion-cave, what could you possibly need or desire outside of it? As an evolving friendship brings with it deeper questions, both characters move out of their self-imposed gilded cages and into uncharted territories.
Readers who pick up In a Gilded Cage expecting another predictable retelling of a fairy tale will be amazed - and delighted - by how far this author stretches the original story line's concepts in a dark social and psychological challenge to the innocence of the original Rapunzel story of seduction and love.