These are three of the books I’ve read this year. They are three books I kept seeing recommended on various blogs and even though I’m not normally a ‘follow the crowd’ person I began to think they’d be worth a look at even if it was just to see what all the talk was about. I thought they were all going to be quite different – it turned out they were and yet they weren’t.
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin is about a young girl (Liz) who is killed in a road accident who turns up in a place called Elsewhere. Even though technically dead she and others continue to live their lives as they might have back on earth – except they are ageing backwards.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker is about a man (Ahmad) and a woman (Chava) and the life they are living in New York during the 1890s. Just one thing about them – she is made of clay and he of fire. The story follows their comings and goings as they meet and then attempt to live ‘normal’ lives while trying to discover what’ is a normal life’ for humans without giving the game away.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is about life in Alaska during the 1920s. It is the story of Jack and Mabel who move there to start a new life after the death of their stillborn child. During a winter storm they build a ‘snow girl’ which then turns into a Snow Child – a little girl (Faina) made of snow and ice who comes and goes over the years, living in the nearby woods.
Those are just very brief intros to three very different books – yet when I finished them I saw (to me) some similarities. Mingled in amongst other people they all seemed to have characters who were ‘unreal’ or ‘different’; one who was dead but alive and ageing backwards, others who were made of clay and fire and another who was made from snow and ice. This was pure fantasy to me – not something I read about everyday lol
They made me think and wonder – about death and what comes after, about history and different communities, about living in a harsh environment and about love, which in one way or another (seen/unseen, spoken/unspoken) featured in all the storylines. And of course folk/fairy tales and how much we absorb and remember from them as children.
All written by young women, all (I think) are their first published novels and as far as I’m concerned all great reads.
Have any of you also read them? What were your thoughts?