This had been my bathroom book for the past couple of weeks (eek! is she admitting this stuff?). I wanted to finish the reading before heading back on the road, so I snatched it up and found a quiet place to read on this glorious Sunday afternoon. And while I loved the book, I wonder exactly who the intended audience is? I think this is one of those books that will be appreciated by just the right reader. Horvath is an acquired taste. I must admit I find her books delicious. I know a few other adults and some tweens and teens who share this taste with me.
Here is a novel told in spurts from four of the main characters. First, there are Jocelyn and Meline. They are cousins whose parents are killed in a train wreck in Africa. They are then sent to live with their Uncle Marten, a recluse, who lives on his own private island, one rumored to be the graveyard for quite a few plane crashes. Enter Mrs. Mendlebaum, a housekeeper hired out of desperation by Uncle Marten so he can continue his reclusive ways, and now readers have a quartet of characters who are all disconnected in some manner from the lives of anyone other than her or himself.
Orphans, intrigue, scattered airplane parts, eccentric individuals, isolated terrain: all the elements of a unique and unsettling story. Think Lemony Snicket in part combined with the hallmarks of Horvath's other works (EVERYTHING ON A WAFFLE, THE CANNING SEASON). Smart, funny, desperate, jarring, and unresolved. I read through the reviews of this book to see how far off base I might be in my reaction and found this same curious mixture of huzzahs and huhs. Anyone had any takers on this one?