Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Magical Realism
Size: 288 pages
Publisher: The Friday Project
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Librarything’s Early Reviewers Program
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through Librarything’s Early Review program. Initially the cover grabbed my attention and then the synopsis sounded so intriguing I just couldn’t resist. This ended up being a very intriguing and interesting story full of magical realism. The book is a bit ambiguous at points and you never really know exactly why the things that happen here happen.
This book is about a number of characters who lose things. An old woman looses the front of her house, a middle aged man loses his job (like it literally is no longer there), a old man loses the keys on his piano, a woman in her 20’s loses the ability to find her way anywhere (even to places she always goes), and a young woman loses both her girlfriend and the ability to move. Tied in to it all is a young boy who likes to find lost things and keep them.
This is one of those books that makes you think a lot. The book is told from a number of different points of view. The chapters are very short and each one is told from a different character; randomly jumping back and forth between the different characters.
There is a lot of magical realism in here. For example the front of a house can’t really disappear but it does. Also the young woman who loses her girlfriend starts to turn into a tree, which is odd. Having the man’s workplace vanish is also very magical and improbable.
The how behind how these things are able to happen is never really explained. The main point of the book seems to be that because these strange things happen they put the characters outside of their comfort zone and in turn somehow the character’s life gets better as a result. Also many of the characters, who didn’t know each other at the beginning of the book, end up having stories that overlap with each other and end up influencing each other’s life.
Yep it’s that kind of book. Not a lot is resolved at the end of the book…the characters have changed, but you still don’t have an idea for how the things that disappeared disappeared or what happened to them.
Despite the ambiguity the books ends up being a very engaging read and is hard to put down. It is a very different and quirky book and I don’t think it will appeal to everyone. However if you enjoy beautiful prose and stories that are a bit odd and don’t mind lack of closure…I would definitely recommend it.
Overall this book was very different and strangely engaging. I would recommend to people who enjoy magical realism, quirky books, and don’t mind a lack of closure in their stories. This book is beautifully written and thought-provoking, it is also humorous and quirky. I will definitely keep an eye out for Matthewson’s future works.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge