Author: Rene Denfeld
Hardcover: 237 pages
Published: March 4, 2014
"This is an enchanted place. Others don't see it, but I do."
The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries magical visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs, with the devastating violence of prison life.
Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.
This story is told from the perspective of a death row inmate named Arden. Arden not only tells his story but he also tells the story of other inmates in the prison. He is also able to see into the minds of other characters in the story such as a fallen priest, the warden, and a lady who is investigator for the death row inmates. This book has a very whimsical, magical realism element to it as well.
This book is very different from any other book I have read. I picked this one up because I have seen a lot of recommendations for it on Book Tube. Chelsey at Adultish Books raves about it. If you are a fan of The Green Mile, you would probably like this book. It reminded me a lot of The Green Mile movie. I have not read the book.
This book has a very unique and beautiful writing style. It took me a couple of chapters to get use to the writing, but I really enjoyed the whimsical writing style. Even though the book has a very whimsical and magical tone to it, it also is very dark.
This book did an amazing job of pulling you into a terrible, scary place and making you really see the inmates in a different way. The inmates are all very disturbing, but the author also takes you into their world, and you see things from a different perspective.
This book deals with a lot of heavy topics, including murder, rape, abuse and drugs.
Things I Loved About This Book:
- I really, really liked how this book was told from the one perspective but you were able to see in-depth information about all the characters.
- This book was beautifully written. It was very, very whimsical and creative.
- Makes you reflect on your perspective about others.
- Even though this book is really short. The details and content was very rich.
- I loved how the story gave you a lot of background information on the characters, but the author leaves a lot of holes.
- For example, you do not know exactly what the death row inmates have done to get into prison, but she gives you enough information to freak you out and allow your imagination to decide what they did.
- The ending of this book was amazing!
Things I Didn't Like About This Book:
- It was a little slow at times. Even though it fits with the tone and plot of the story, it dragged a little in the middle of the book.
- It was a little hard to read at times. The content can be very creepy.
Favorite Quotes: (This was so hard to narrow down! I had so many!!)
“I would think for hours how strange it was that some parts of words are silent, just like some parts of our lives. Did the people who wrote the dictionaries decide to mirror language to our lives, or did it just happen that way?”
“The truth is, clocks don’t tell time. Time is measured in meaning.”
“I imagine he knows magic, if he is reading books. The book itself doesn’t matter. It’s that he found another world in it.”
“The walls that might make others feel like they are suffocating have become my lungs.”
“Later I read that there are things inside us too tiny to see. Not even a microscope can capture them. This got me thinking--if there are things inside us too tiny to see, might there be things outside us too big to believe?”
“Sweet as sugar. And then he hardened. I can’t ’splain it another way. He was like sugar in a jar that hardens. And after a while you take it out, and it is one rock-solid lump.”
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Have you read this one? Are you planning to read it soon?
Happy Reading, Everyone!!