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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 17/100: The Shadows by Jacqueline West (The Books of Elsewhere #1)

The Shadows   - Jacqueline West

I was unexpectedly delighted by this book. While the premise -- a pair of magical glasses that allows an 11-year-old girl to go into paintings -- wasn't one that grabbed me initially, adding a few talking cats to the mix was sufficient to pique my interest. The book itself is wonderfully atmospheric, especially in its descriptions of the old, creepy house that Olive and her parents move into, still filled with all the furniture an personal effects of its previous owner. I could practically sneeze from the dust as I read passages about Olive's exploration.

The characterizations are charming; I especially liked Olive's absent-minded, mathematics-smitten parents. Although they are often distracted by big ideas and walk around in a bit of an intellectual daze, their love for Olive still comes through, and I look forward to learning more about them in future books. There are four other books after this, which I will certainly read, and which make it OK that not everything was resolved in this one.

The book was the perfect blend of heart, humor, and spookiness (actually a little creepier than I expected), and the author's "voice" is warm an inviting. I look forward to seeing where it will take me next.