This week I have two books that are worthy of mentioning. First, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck. The Invention of Hugo Cabret was one of the most surprising and beautiful books that I read back in 2007, and Wonderstruck is his follow-up in the same vein. Of the 629 pages in the book, over 450 of them are illustrations by the author, which means this thick, heavy book is not as daunting as it seems. This is the story of Ben and Rose, two children who live fifty years apart, yet whose lives magically intertwine. Both children are compelled to set out on quests after they discover puzzling clues, and although their stories are separate, Selznick weaves them together with words and pictures, and creates something astonishing and unique. If Wonderstruck is anything like Hugo Cabret, it is sure to be a wonderful experience for both children and adults.
Also new this week is The Taker by Alma Katsu. This is Ms. Katsu’s first novel, and it’s gotten quite a lot of attention already. From the book description: “On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae—Lanny—walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her . . . despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort. And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and mortality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated.
Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a Puritan settlement. Consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for all eternity. And now, two centuries later, the key to her healing and her salvation lies with Dr. Luke Findley.
Part historical novel, part supernatural page-turner, The Taker is an unforgettable tale about the power of unrequited love not only to elevate and sustain, but also to blind and ultimately destroy, and how each of us is responsible for finding our own path to redemption.”