Monday, October 01, 2007

What the Dickens by Gregory Maguire

I love the cover of this book! I also loved the book...right up until the very end, that is. It's a story about Dinah, her older brother and baby sister who are left at home with their 21-year-old cousin Gage while a terrible storm rages outside. Dinah's parents have left (or disappeared); there's no power, and almost no food. To help get them through the long, very dark, very scary night, Gage tells a story about magical creatures called skibbereen, who turn out to be tooth fairies. The book is divided into 4 sections: Twilight, Midnight, The Witching Hour, and Dawn. The story of the skibbereen is touching and clever, and the story of Dinah and her family is suspenseful and exciting, but at the very end, even though you know why Dinah's parents left, you don't know what happened to them. And you also don't get any clues as to whether Dinah's parents have changed through the course of the book. At the beginning, you're told that they keep to themselves because they are trying to live according to the gospel. The kids aren't allowed to have friends outside the family, or watch tv or movies, or go to the mall. Unless Gregory Maguire is planning to write a sequel to this book, I don't understand how he can just drop that part of the story. It's definitely worth reading, but don't expect to gain any insight into Dinah's family. Review by Stacy Church

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