4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Stupendous Debut Novel,
This review is from: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (Hardcover)
Peculiar is one of those, well, 'peculiar' words. This story begins in a very mundane way in Central Florida when 16-year-old Jacob, who works in his family's chain of convenience stores, checks on his elderly grandfather, only to find that the old gentleman has been lured out to the woods behind his house and is found dead, apparently having been jumped by a vicious animal. Seemingly a sad end for the man whose stories of life on an island called Cairnholm amid various other children who each seemed to have a special gift (levitation and invisibility to name just two). For Jacob, these were his grandfather's stories although they were accompanied by old, yellowed photographs.
The truth that Jacob comes to understand was that sometime during the early years of WWII his grandfather was sent away from home to avoid Nazi occupation and he ended up on Cairnholm. When Abe Portman (Jacob's now deceased grandfather) whispers unrelated clues as he is about to die, Jacob believes that the old man had finally lost his mind after living alone so many years. Jacob somehow can't shake his grandfather's stories out of his mind, especially when he opens a box that contains the old photos and some letters written by a woman.
Jacob's parents send him to a phsychologist to help him see things more clearly. But when the doctor agrees with Jacob that a trip to Cairnholm, the place of his grandfather's stories, might help the young man, Jacob's father agrees to make the trip with him. A would-be ornithologist, Jacob's dad decides to study the birds of the island and perhaps come away with enough material to write a book. Left to his own devices, Jacob goes off to explore The House where grandfather once lived and search for clues to the old man's final, cryptic words.
From this point on the story moves into the fantasy of time travel and parallel universes. Jacob finds himself meeting the very people who have populated his grandfather's stories, still alive on another plane in time.
This is a mezmerising story of adventure and fantasy rolled into one. A page turner that will have you wondering about every person you meet. Surely there's more to us than meets the eye.
Debut author Ransom Riggs has delved into the minds of his characters and brings to life every one of their eccentricities. Rather than pulling back from their peculiaritis in revulsion, you'll find yourself rooting for the underdog in more ways than one.
I certainly hope that there is a sequel for this book. Put my order in now.
Location: Florida USA
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