Jess's Reviews > Splendors and Glooms

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
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's review
May 24, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: juv, fantasy, historical-fiction, cybils-nominees-2012-2013, newbery-honor

The fact that this took me a while to read should in no way reflect on its quality (I have a love/hate relationship with reading books on my phone, which is currently my only way to read ebooks). In fact, each time I opened it up again, I immediately knew where I was and what was happening in the story, with the whole thing as vivid as if I'd read it over just a few days.

'Splendors and Glooms' is really the perfect description of the story - the gloom is easy to spot, in the downtrodden lives of Victorian orphans; in the sadness of Clara, her parents' only living child; in the brutality of puppeteer Grisini; in the agony of a witch torn between hanging on and finally letting go.

The splendors are there, too - Parsefall's love of the puppet theater, and Clara's, too; and the sense of redemption that the story brings (although telling would be spoiling). There's magic and surprising humor and a delicious Gothic feel.

Also splendid is Laura Amy Schlitz's writing - this woman has a way with her pen, and each story she turns out is masterful yet distinct. I think I'm bumping this to the top of list of Newbery favorites for the year.

Source: ARC from NetGalley


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Reading Progress

May 24, 2012 – Shelved
June 6, 2012 – Started Reading
June 13, 2012 –
page 80
July 3, 2012 –
page 134
July 4, 2012 –
page 195
July 22, 2012 –
July 22, 2012 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
July 22, 2012 – Shelved as: juv
July 22, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy
July 22, 2012 – Finished Reading
October 13, 2012 – Shelved as: cybils-nominees-2012-2013
January 30, 2013 – Shelved as: newbery-honor

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