Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Woman in the Wall

by Patrice Kindl

Story summary: Anna is so shy that she hides in the secret rooms she built in the walls. She does this for so long that her family forgets about her, assigning her memory to foolishness and youthful playfulness. But she is very much alive, growing and changing and falling in love.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Growing up
  • Learning self-confidence
  • People are better than you think they are

And Why You Might Not:
  • It's a strange little book. The fantasy elements are only really present at the beginning and are quite small, but they're weird. Why are they there at all?
  • The main character herself is obviously a little on the odd side as well.

Thoughts: I always admire distinctness in authors' works, and was very much impressed by how different this book was from Goose Chase--while still having a similar Kindl style. The main characters are especially different: Anna is industrious and terribly shy while Alexandria from Goose Chase is bad-tempered and forthright. And just their whole out look on life is not at all like the other.

I've been discussing in some reviews recently (Catch & Release, Gothic!) how YA stories, specifically those that concern growing up, aren't interesting to me right now. But this book was an exception, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps because the tone was more like a children's book in a lot of ways? In fact, now that I think of it, the type of YA I'm thinking of usually concerns teenagers learning about adulthood. This is a child learning about teenage-hood. Yet I'm pretty sure there are children-growing-up books I have the same problem with. So I dunno... Going to have to think about this one.

I'm not sure if I'll ever re-read this book, but I definitely want to explore more Patrice Kindl. How different can she make the rest of her protagonists? Will the rest of her books be this weird?

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

If You Like This, You Might Also Like:
  • Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson: It was ages ago that I read this, but it came to mind when I read this book. Perhaps because they both focus on a very female experience of puberty, and have siblings as crucial aspects of the protagonist's development. They're quite different otherwise, though, and I liked WitW way more than JHIL.

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