Star Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Short Reaction: WHAAAAAAAAT? O.O
Published on/by: April 22nd 2014 by Square Fish (first published October 6th 2011)
Page Count: 288 pages
Synopsis provided by Goodreads: Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.
An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.
This is quite possibly the oddest book I’ve ever read. Nothing really made complete sense until the middle part of the book and when that final chapter of a jigsaw puzzle clicked into place, BOOM, I was blown away.
This book is so intricately crafted; a story told within seven different tales. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed to see, upon starting the book, that it was told in a non-chronological way (because I imagined something else entirely) but ultimately, I was proven wrong. It was such a refreshing way of telling a story and I felt that in a way, it made both main characters, Eric and Merle so much more richly developed. Other than being told in a non-chronological order, I should mention that in each chapter, these two main characters, Eric and Merle embodies different people, which was interesting because at first, we are introduced to the two of them as potential lovers, and by the end of the chapter (which was horrific, btw) I found myself rooting for them, only to read the next few chapters where the dynamic of their relationship changes drastically from mother and son to even brothers and sisters!
Honestly, it weirded me out at first. I went from *SHIPPING* to *UM INCEST*, but that feeling was lost very quickly because the bigger goal of the novel became more and more obvious. It was really a novel about the various kinds of love and the sacrifice that can come with it; a novel that Sedgwick delivered with GORGEOUS writing. Totally recommend this if you enjoy a very refreshing way of storytelling, delivered with beautiful and haunting prose.