Friday, February 10, 2012

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss



















Well this was a nifty little book. Normally I'm none too impressed by books that rely on gimmicks, but this book is a treasure. Instead of being a gimmick, Goss literally gives us two sides to the same love story. The book is beautifully presented in a slip case and is created accordion style so that you can read Evelyn's story from cover to cover and then flip the book and read Brendan's story from cover to cover. And what a beautiful story it is.

I chose to read Evelyn's story first, though you can pick who's story you wish to read first. It doesn't matter. So I'll give you the tale from Evelyn's point of view. Evelyn is an American who recently graduated from Oxford University and has gone to spend some time in a small village where she meets Brendan at an antiquarian bookstore. The two learn of a mutual love of the story of The Tale of the Green Knight and go off exploring where strange things begin to happen. Strange things that send Evelyn running and screaming and heading back for the states. But years later, they are to meet again, back in the United States and have a second chance at rekindling that old romance. Yet those same strange occurrences seem to continue to haunt them.

This is a small book, a short story really, but it's length is really perfect for the tale that it tells. It leaves the reader to imagine what happens after the story ends. It leaves plenty of room for reader interpretation throughout the story as well. Not many answers are given, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I think this is a great little read for a cozy, rainy day and certainly a little book to cherish.

8 comments:

Kailana said...

I am not so sure I saw this as a gimmick. I just saw it as 'different'. Plus, I enjoyed the story. It was the sort of thing that I wanted to own. I have read another book based on the same idea, Happenstance by Carol Shields, but instead of this creative idea they just have one half of the book one way and then you flip it over and read the other half.

Chris said...

Oh I didn't see it as a gimmick either! That was my point..at first I was worried it would be gimmicky but it totally wasn't. It was really a cool book!

DesLily said...

I am glad you enjoyed this..it sounds interesting in all aspects but... I am trying not to buy "new" books unless they are part of series I am reading..trying to keep any other purchases to the used book store .. and trying to read at least some of the tbr books! strangely I feel as if I am not enjoying my books lately..I hope this passes quickly!

Amanda said...

I really want to get my hands on this one! It sounds so good. I'm asking for it for my birthday, so fingers crossed!

Susan said...

Oh, yours is another to rave about this book! I've got to get this, I think. I thought I had it on my Amazon Mountain, I'm going to go add it now. It certainly seems unique and interesting. I like that you classify it as a rainy day book, when you want some magic to take you away. Lovely review, Chris!

Evie Yang said...

This book sounds really interesting! It's really pretty too!

animewookie said...

Oh it's so pretty too :D Glad you enjoyed it Chris!

Trish said...

Oh I love the idea of this one!! And such a pretty packaging. I haven't heard of it but can see it making it's rounds soon enough!