Oct 21, 09
Recommended to Amanda by:
Saba Afshar, Amy Sly
Read in October, 2009
The daughters of the Silver family are cursed with a hunger for things that do not nourish. The Silver girls absently smear their mouths with handfuls of dirt, lick chalk from secret pocket stashes, nibble on plastic spoons beneath the sheets. The family home in Dover holds them through their suffering, unfolds for them and keeps them together. Part One of White is for Witching, "curiouser," begins with the return to Dover of eighteen-year-old Miranda Silver, an ethereal chalk-eater in stilettos and funereal black dresses, wide eyes and scarlet lips. Her twin brother, Eliot, and her father, Luc, are trying to survive after her mother Lily's death; Miranda is trying to survive with Lily's ghost. Part Two, "and curiouser," begins and ends (well, perhaps) with Miranda's departure from Dover and her advancing... condition.
Beautifully written, Oyeyemi's neo-gothic tale of post-colonial England manages to shift narrators and haunt houses without seeming contrived. I very much loved the story and especially the writing, but it ultimately felt unsatisfying to me. Though she approaches Miranda from several angles the story still feels unfinished, particularly the racial implications that Oyeyemi presents. But maybe that's intentional. Anyway, I wanted there to be a bit more, for Oyeyemi to go a bit further in places. So I guess, to me, the story was so good that I wanted it to be better. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from this author and would recommend this book if you're looking for something a little strange. Accidentally appropriate read for October, too.
Also, the UK cover is so great and the US cover is so not. Bummer.