Date: 1997 — $5.85 — Book
That Robin McKinley loves the story of Beauty and the Beast is obvious, as she has told the story not once but twice. However, the two versions are not completely congrous, and this version is a little more adult, with roses as an allegory for love (not romantic love per se but necessary love). There's also a lot about gardening, something McKinley has been doing a lot of in her life. And the sisters are obnoxious to start off with but become more reasonable as time goes by, something commesurate with the vast changes in their life.
There's a lot more pettiness in this version, as the cityfolk turn their backs on the family when their social status falls apart. Likewise, the eldest son of the squire in the town they move to is very conscious of his status and provides a sense of danger there. And the origins of the Beast are a little clearer in this version; and Beauty's choice is slightly different than the traditional one, because she has more of a choice in this version.
I tend to read both versions at once, one right after another. What can I say, I like Beauty and the Beast too.