Abe Kalotay died in his front yard in late February, beneath a sky so pale it seemed infected. There was a wintery wet snowbite to the still air and the sprawled-open pages of the book at his side had grown slightly damp by the time his daughter Joanna came home and found his body lying in the grass by their long dirt driveway.
Oh, that’s quite the opening. Such beautiful language for something so dark. Which really sums up the book in a lot of ways.
It’s a story about a broken family. Long dead mother, dead father (see above), sisters who haven’t spoken in years, and a step mother who hasn’t set foot in the family home in about as long.
Joanna understood his reluctance to enter the house. For him, the forest was the known world. Its dangers and pleasures could be anticipated. And maybe he sensed with his wordless cat brain that coming inside would forever change his experience of outside. Cold was easier to bear when you’d never been warm.
It’s a story about magic. Blood and herbs and ink and magical books that can do all manner of fantastic things. All written with such a delightful wordsmithing.
Crystals of old honey on her body’s tongue, long hardened, were loosening in the warmth of her spilling blood, turning from grain to syrup, a slow sweet hum of wings unfurling from deep within her and looping outward, solid and multitudinous, the comb in her chest and the workers in her veins, and the hive all around her.
It’s a story about power. Those how collect rare things for their own sake–and those who collect them for the sake of using them. Controlling them.
And it’s a story about characters. I really enjoy reading each of the three points of view. It’s impressive how different the three of them feel and I really did enjoy how it all comes together in the end.
Overall, an excellent read (listen). Highly recommended.
La Ruta Nos Aportó Otro Paso Natural
The path provides the natural next step.
Palindromes are great. Even better (for no good reason) in other languages. 😄