16. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Melody H

Among Others by Jo Walton, 302 pages, read by Melody, on 02/10/2012

I almost gave up on this book before I even began it and am glad that I didn’t.  Personally, I dislike kitschy plot structure.  Books told as poems, journal entries, in pig latin, or whatever some author thinks is a clever way to set themselves apart leaves me cold.  Too often, plot and dialogue suffer as the writer tries to force a believable engaging story into imposed constraints.  Among Others is told as the diary of teen-aged Welsh girl, Morwenna,  who sees fairies.  Her sister has died in an accident that has left her crippled and Morwenna is sent to live with her father in England.  She is a voracious reader and uses books both as an escape and a way to connect with others.  Among Others is an interesting mix, Morwenna see fairies and ghosts yet loves science fiction, she fiercely defends her otherness but searches for kindred spirits, she fears the magic that has driven her mother mad but wields it herself.    There is a lot going on in this book and a lesser author would likely made a complete mash of it but Walton pulls it off beautifully.  Morwenna is a very compelling character that I really enjoyed getting to know.  Her diary entries told the story clearly without becoming self-indulgent or maudlin.  I did find the ending rather anti-climatic but I think it is simply because the rest of the book was so well-written. Great debut for Walton.

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