Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

Julie Diewald finished The Time Traveler's Wife at 2:30 am and I had a gushing email by 2:45 am. I thought I would share her emotional response with you in the hopes that it might persuade you to read the book- at least more than any normal review might. Or, read this if you've already read the book to know that others feel the same way (emotional and confused over the complexities of time travel).

Julie: So I just finished it.

It was an absorbing read and yet one I feared to end. I knew it would rip at my heart. I know it will leave an imprint in my mind for awhile. Tears. My heart aches. A beautiful picture of life with all its bumps and blessings. I enjoyed Clare being an artist and Henry a librarian. It's like our perfect combination of people. When Clare spoke of the creation of art, I understood her completely- as I'm sure you did. The author managed to tie up all the appearances and unknowns in such a complicated weaving of words that I'm satisfied but not. Ooh how could she rip him out of Clare's life? And how could Clare go forward when he is integral to her life? Ahhh. And the last scene- why not tell us more, paint the scene longer? I feel like Clare- waiting for something that has just vanished, unable to recapture. I don't know what to do now. sadness. Thankyou for the book. I enjoyed it. Even after all of these words, part of me feels like I never fully bonded to the characters. Surely to Henry more than Clare. He has a larger amount of book time. Maybe because of the realness of the world. The darkness and the light. Maybe because I have never experienced this kind of love. Or maybe the author has yet to convince me of their truths? I wonder what you thought of the book.

Marika (reply): That is a wonderful email. In all seriousness, I just got teary reading it. What with all the time travel, he never really knows how much life is truly left, and yet he knows the end, whereas Claire knows time, and is stuck there, yet tries to hold on to time which is out of joint.
I think you watch them more than bond. You are inexplicably unable to take your eyes off of them, which is made even more difficult when there are two Henrys or Claire and Henry are separated, or he is with a different her.

There is a trailer now for a movie of the book. I don't think it is the sort of thing that would translate well- I think the movie will just be a shoddy romance, without the true human connection pushed and stretched around time.

On another note, time travel has different rules in every single book, movie, television show,
game, etc. Which is your favorite form? What movie or book has a system in which all the
creator's rules make sense? What examples seem to contradict one another at every turn?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child

After waiting six weeks for an inter-library loan, I gave in and bought Wrede's Thirteenth Child. My expectations for Wrede are rather high due to her Enchanted Forest Chronicles (I was that kid on Halloween who was always an obscure character from a book and no one ever guessed what I was- in 1st grade I was Cimorene).

The slip cover properly brings to mind dime novels of the exploits of the midwest, though I am sure future books will hold more exploits of the wild west than this first one. The book follows Eff, a thirteenth child (and therefore bad luck) and her twin, Lan, the seventh son of a seventh son (which, as any mythologically minded person will know, indicates good fortune and talent). Wrede skillfully blends magic and the frontier, creating a world as rich and believable as the Enchanted Forest.
Thirteenth Child is the first in the series Frontier Magic, according to the spine. And the novel feels like the first in a series. This is not to say it falls below the bar, but the ending is a bit too rapid for a stand alone novel (though no where near the ends of the books in His Dark Materials) and readers will be left dying to know future awaits Eff.

I think the optimal reading range for the book is 3rd through 7th grades, though anyone who loved the Enchanted Forest Chronicles or, indeed, Little House on the Prairie, may wish to pick it up. Middle and High School readers may also wish to pick up Wrede's Book of Enchantments (collected stories), Mairelon the Magician, and The Raven Ring. Keep your eyes open for the last two- I believe they are out of print.

Okay, I have now tooled about Amazon and come to the conclusion that college makes you horribly unaware of too many books. More specifically, Wrede's The Seven Towers, Snow White and Rose Red, and Caught in Crystal, many of which were originally published in the 80s and only rereleased this year. Approximately half of her novels are out of print, so keep your eyes peeled at the library and used bookstores. My library surprisingly had a number of these out-of-print lovelies and so I can recommend them whole-heartedly.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Scream-Worthy News

When people see this, they tend to scream and jump up and down. If you don't, check out The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia. Then try again.

I have heard it is anticipated more than a trip to Europe by some.

Thank you to Julie Diewald for sending this to me.