Monday, March 1, 2010


David's mother is dying, but he counts the numbers of steps and ritualizes his mornings in an attempt to keep her alive. After her death, and his father's subsequent remarriage, he finds new rituals: books. Especially, listening to the books who talk to him.

This fantasy-filled novel, set in World War II Britain, promises to prompt memories of Grimm fairy tales and ideas of "truth" versus "story." I found that I liked this book much more after I finished it and could begin the rehashing of its meaning.

David finds a hole in the garden, and he hears his mother's voice calling for help. One night, he sees a German plane falling from the sky, and to escape from a fiery death, he crawls through the hole into a fairytale woods. From there, the story follows familiar and strange tales, the stories that we do not tell children, but we probably should. Death comes to those who make idiotic choices, for example, or are not honorable in their actions.

In order to return to the "real world," David must find the king and his "Book of Lost Things." However, is his awakening due to finding a way home, or had this been his imagination all along?

The author threw in enough irony and twists on typical children's fare to keep my attention. More thrilling is the discussions post-reading. Does this other-world exist? As the author states, he has received a unique answer from everyone he has met. A book to make one think - I'll put down my drink for this.

4.0 out of 5.0 Red Witches.


Claire Dawn said...

Interesting review! I'll add it to my list!

Alison's Book Marks said...

This is the first I've heard of this book - thank you for putting it on my radar. You've once again added to my TBR list!

moonrat said...

I keep walking by this one in bookstores, picking it up, and wishing I had it. Leave it to you to take the time to read it and review it! This is why having prolific reader internet friends is so wonderful.

Jane Steen said...

Adding that one to my list. It's the combo of WWII and other-world that hooked me, evoking thoughts of Narnia and Jasper fforde. Thanks for another great review Kristin!

Jennifer Ambrose said...

This is at the top of my to-read list. Thanks for the great review!

Kristin Dodge said...

My pleasure! I have ESP, Moonratty, so I know when you are thinking about a book. ;-)

I_am_Tulsa said...

Kristen, I really liked this book too♥
The cover totally captured my heart and so did the story!