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The Book of Lost Things

Set in the early stages of WWII in England, the novel opens with 12-year-old David coping with the loss of his mother. She had succumbed to cancer, and David feels like it was his fault. Then it goes to four or five months later, and David's father is dating again and the woman who he is dating, Rose, gets pregnant. David and his father go to live in a house on the countryside where David swears he hears books talking to him and his mother's voice calling his name. This book may sound strange, but it is so extremely well written. The only thing I would warn of is that parts of the book are a bit creepy, for lack of a better word. The ways Connolly twists the tales are certainly very interesting, and disturbing. In an interview (in the back of the book), he describes why fairy tales are so important to the book. "Because they're so elemental, I suppose. I was always interested in something that the Brothers Grimm wrote in the introduction to one of their collections. They said tat every society, and every age, produced its own version of the same tales....In The Book of Lost Things, they become the building blocks for the creation of the wold into which David retreats after the death of his mother." I actually read The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales earlier this year (well, I'm about halfway through it - my version, the Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library one, copyright 1944 - is 864 pages long), and it was neat to be able to identify some of the stories that David encounters in his world. I recommend it, but only if you have an interest in fairy tales, or else you might find it a bit crazy. Rating: ★★★★

Into The Wild