Author Daniel Wallace first grabbed my attention when I saw the filmed version of his novel, 'Big Fish'. Wildly imaginative and brought to the screen by the brilliant Tim Burton, I knew that I had to read the book.
As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I love fairy/folk tales, and 'Big Fish' was very satisfying and, in it's own little way, strangely weird. And Book Hog likes nothing more than 'weird'.
Now Mr. Wallace has presented us with another great read: 'The Kings and Queens of Roam', a tale at once enchanting, and at the same time, very dark and disturbing.
Helen and Rachel McAllister are sisters who live in their crumbling family mansion in Roam, a town that was at first meant to be the center of the U.S. silk industry, but is now dying a slow death. Helen is older and bitter and cursed with an ugly face. Rachel is beautiful...and blind. She depends on Helen for almost everything, and in doing so, is open to Helen's lies. Helen convinces Rachel that the world is a dark and dangerous place and Rachel couldn't possibly live on her own.
But Rachel makes a surprising choice that changes the perspective of both sisters.
'The Kings and Queens of Roam' is extremely clever and very inventive, filled with thoughtful ghosts who have more wisdom than the living. It is awash in love and longing, love gone wrong, love changed in a most surprising way.
And it will stay with you.
With open arms, I welcome Mr. Wallace's newest addition to the world of folktales. I thank him for keeping weird alive.
'The Kings and Queens of Roam' will be released in early May 2013, by Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster.