The dictionary defines āinvertedā as reversed, upturned, and this aptly describes the goings on, again and again in John Daltonās latest novel, The Inverted Forest, an impressive follow-up to his award winning debut, HEAVEN LAKE. That the two stories are quite diverse in setting and subject serves the reader well, as HEAVEN LAKE, set in Taiwan and China, was one of those wondrous, luminous novels difficult to surpass. THE INVERTED FOREST takes place in 1996 in a rural Missouri summer camp, a sun-dappled, bucolic environment that still manages to impart a sense of subliminal unease.
September 21, 2011
Ā· Judi Clark Ā· No Comments
Tags: 1990s, developmentally disabled, Greed & Corruption, Handicap, Loss, Loyalty, Missouri, Scribner, Summer Camp Ā· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary
Debut novelist and elementary schoolteacher Rebecca Makkai combines a wily, madcap road trip with socially poignant conundrums and multiple themes in this coming-of-age story about a twenty-six-year-old childrenās librarian, Lucy Hull, and a ten-year-old precocious book lover, Ian Drake, in fictional Hanibal, Missouri. (Guess who is coming-of-age? Answer: not so evident.)
Lucy isnāt entirely sure that sheās a reliable narratorāpart of our reading pleasure is to figure that out. She tells us in the enigmatic prologue āIām not the hero of this story.ā Is she the villain? And, if she is not the hero, who is? The answers turn out to be thoughtfully complex and yet exquisitely simple for those of us–and only for those of us–whose love of reading is almost religious (upside down pun there).