Friday, September 5, 2014

the enchanted

the enchanted
rene denfeld
published 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 visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs with the devastating violence of prison life.

The sad fact of the matter is, my book club passed up this book.  Thankfully, it was one of my choices and I already had it on my TBR list for this year.  So I started reading it and I found I had a really hard time putting it down.

The interesting thing is there isn't really a story here.  There is a telling.  Observations and bits of tales all put together.  Facts are blurry and we don't really know what these characters have done to find themselves in this enchanted place, but we don't need to know.

Denfeld has been compared to Alice Sebold and I can see that.  She writes magically about a place that by all rights should have no magic.  That one would never describe as "enchanted" as we tend to perceive enchanting.  She writes about darkness by bringing it into a lighter place.

There is much that is left unsaid, but for whatever reason I wasn't bothered by this.  I sighed when I closed the book after the last page.  I didn't need more, I just wanted peace for the silent man and a cabin in the woods for The Lady.

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