Author: Franny Billingsley
Narrator: Susan Duerden
Pub: 2011; Dial
Length: 10 hours 13 minutes
Genre: Young Adult; Fairy Tale; Fantasy
This book. THIS BOOK. I spent the first half (maybe more) wondering what in the world was going on. I seriously had a moment where I thought about looking for some homemade sparks notes version. And then the book just came together in this big WHOOSH and my mouth was hanging wide open and I was sitting in my car in my driveway waiting for a perfect spot to stop the audio. BUT THERE WASN'T ONE because it was SO FREAKIN' good and instead I just sat there, listening longer.
Franny Billingsley really stepped up her game. It is hard for me to admit this, but man did this book manipulate me, you know...in that I'm feeling frustrated but I'm still going to come back for me. (I've read other reviews and this seems to be a trend).
So what is this book about? Geez. I can't even go there. It's about a young girl named Briony who is a TOTAL unreliable narrative in this brilliant way. I mean she just loathes herself and the whole time you're gonna be sitting there scratching your forehead because it just doesn't make sense why she would. Oh and then there's Rose, her slow sister, who just rocks my world. Rose will always be a favorite character because her personality was full and complete and Real. It's impossible to tell what Rose's ailment is, and it's presented that she fell from a swing and hit her head, not making her right. But she's amazing and brilliant and I'm gushing, I know.
Then there's Eldric who comes from the city and quickly becomes a good friend of the sisters AND OF COURSE there's FEELINGS on Briony's part
And there's Old Ones and Magic and this villainous bog spirit who is causing strife. There's legend and a Moon Child, even if she's not really a child. There's a father who's a priest who can't see what's in front of him and a dead stepmother who still controls Briony's thoughts.
Have you not read this yet? Get to it.
Thoughts on the Audio Version
I cannot exclaim enough how the narrator, Susan Duerden, really made this book. Because this is a fantasy novel, albeit contemporary fantasy (is that what you would call it when it mixes current world with fantastical?) and Duerden creates the atmosphere perfectly. She will transfix who ears, tickling them with individual character voices, all with their own charming accent.