Thursday, August 30, 2007

The ghost's child

The ghost's child

Author: Sonya Hartnett

Oh, this is a special treat – a fairytale feel, with a darkness that is awash in sorrow and longing. There’s a nice sense of unease right from the start of the story, and it is sustained all the way to the final chapters.

Matilda is an elderly lady who is visited by a strange young boy. While we are wondering if he is the ‘ghost’ of the book’s title, Matilda tells her life story – of her search for beauty, for love, for belonging, and for her own sense of self. The theme of journeying is reflected in all parts of the story, as Matilda journeys through her life, as well as across the world. Love in all its many forms is another strong theme of the story – Matilda’s love for her father, for her husband, for her ‘fey’, and for herself.

The language of this story is just lovely – though lyrical and full of gorgeous metaphors, it is not a burden to read; it’s a pleasure to be lost in the fable-like elements and the fantastical sea voyage.

Such a beautiful story! I got to the end and marvelled at Sonya’s storytelling craft, and at the beauty of her writing.

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