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The Kings and Queens of Roam: A Novel
Helen and Rachel McCallister, who live in a town called Roam, are as different as sisters can be: Helen, older, bitter, and conniving; Rachel, beautiful, naïve—and blind. When their parents die suddenly, Rachel has to rely on Helen for everything, but Helen embraces her role in all the wrong ways, convincing Rachel that the world is a dark and dangerous place she couldn’t possibly survive on her own . . . or so Helen believes, until Rachel makes a surprising choice that turns both their worlds upside down. In this new novel, Southern literary master Daniel Wallace returns to the tradition of tall tales and folklore made memorable in his bestselling novel Big Fish. Wildly inventive and beautifully written, The Kings and Queens of Roam i s a big-hearted tale of family and the ties that bind.
This book has a couple things that I absolutely love in books: 1. It is quirky and fun. (But that's to be expected from the author of Big Fish.) 2. It is filled with "thought bombs" sure to provoking great discussions. (Seriously, I Kindle highlighted this book more than just about any other fiction book ever.) And last but not least… 3. The writing is goooood. (More on the wonderful flow of the language later. ) Loved it! Though I was not too sure about the end… but that in itself brings up lots to discuss, so I'll take it. ;)
With crazy characters, both dead and alive, this book raises questions like: What does it mean to love and protect another? What is the harm in lying? What does it really mean to "create your own world" either in reality or in your mind? How much of our lives is shaped by the interference of others? What does it mean to forgive another? And so much more! It is a perfect book club pick for the club that gets into quirky stories and characters.
Speaking of quirk, anyone remember that show Pushing Daisies? For whatever reason, as soon as I started to read this book, the voice in my head was the narrator from Pushing Daisies. I have not even seen that many episodes of the show, but there the voice was from the beginning telling me yet another quirky story. Which made the whole book that much better! If you can, Google the show to remind yourself of the voice before you start reading. It is sure to enhance the story and make you smile. Enjoy!
By Forrest Leo