on 24 November 2002
This clever and ambitious novel leads the reader from a recognisable world, give or take a bit of magic, into a dreamscape littered with mythological, psychological and literary allusions. It is a coming of age novel, in that the protagonists, teenage cousins Bethany, Poppy and Rivalaun, come to a realisation of who they are and what they might become. Each is the child of one of three brothers, all of whom have supernatural powers. There are considerable tensions between the charismatic Poppy and the reflective, inhibited Bethany, and Rivalun's arrival does not calm these.
The story begins with the reading of the will of Bethany's artist father, Felix. Her specific inheritance is one of Felix's own paintings, a seemingly conventional landscape, which is the conduit into the dream kingdom through will each pilgrim cousin must find a way. Like all dreams nothing in this land is constant and at times Lassiter is struggling to hold the dream aura without losing her reader in a slough of confusion. Divided throughout into a series of short chapters, the first half contains entries from the journals of each of the cousins, and the second part, tracking their journey through the land of dream, is narrated in the third person, but holding the focus on each of the three. Meanwhile, through their journals, in which the story magically appears, the parents can see what is happening but are powerless to help their children.
This is a brave book: Lassiter has a many-layered story to tell, and she is not afraid to take risks with form and structure. A book for litarary readers, they will enjoy, and perhaps feel challenged by its allegorical resonance and by the stanzas at the beginning of each chapter, drawn from a galaxy of British and Irish poets.
on 10 August 2005
This book is one of a kind, it is completely original and enters a world that has never been created before. It is thought-provoking, and i found it funny at times. The characters were completely unique, and they make the book what it is.
I found it quite complicated, and some paragraphs i needed to read twice. It require quite a bit of concentration!
I think Lassiter has written a beautiful book that brought twists throughout, and with characters that many people can relate to.
on 18 September 2012
This novel started strong, I was glued. With the 3 different books (and three different viewpoints of each scene) it was an intriguing read ... until the dream world... when it all lost the plot a bit for me if I'm honest.
I gradually became bored, and very unlike me, gave up... as by that point I had lost interest in what happened to any of the characters in the swooshing fog with spooky people. Afraid to say I would not recommend.
on 28 April 2011
I bought this book after a random search on another series by Lassiter, the Hex tilogy, that I read some years ago. Remembering how different and engrossing the books were, I thought i'd give this book a try. About three very different cousins, their stories interweave in a dreamlike narrative that keeps you imersed in the story. What I liked in particular is the depth of Poppy's and Bethany's characters and relationship, and also the way certain things look different from someone else's perspective. The strange dream like world that dominates the second part of the book, is fascinating. Although I was slightly disappointed in the end, as it seemed a bit of an anticlimax, this book was highly enjoyable and kept me reading to the last page.