"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Falling Boy

I've fallen behind pretty much everywhere. Been sick the last few days. Thought it was allergies, but it looks like a bad cold. But I did finish reading a couple of books, so I owe some reviews here.

TITLE: Falling Boy
AUTHOR: Alison McGhee

I liked her earlier book Shadow Baby, so thought I'd give this a try. The prose isn't as mesmerizing as that book, but it was very appealing, focusing on a teenaged boy (Joseph) crippled in an accident he won't talk about, the boy (Zap) he works with at a bakery and who thinks Joseph is a superhero, and a precocious nine-year-old girl (Enzo) who tries to bend reality to fit her needs and desires. Joseph has moved from upstate NY to Minneapolis to live with his father after his accident. The whereabouts of his mother are unclear, something else he won't talk about. Enzo and Zap keep trying to discover the truth about Joseph's paraplegia, unmindful of how painful the past is to Joseph. The characters are quirky and entertaining and the book reads like a young adult novel for adults. Both Zap and Enzo have secrets of their own and in trying to get at Joseph's story, these three characters heal each other and themselves in this short (194 pages in trade pb) novel.