Review: The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis (SPOLIERS)

SPOILERS ahead…

I started this novel with mixed expectations, but I kept reading. I am fascinated by the concept of a ‘thin place,’ which the author says “is a term from Celtic mythology” and “is a place where the membrane between this world and the other – the world of spirit, that part of life we can’t see – is very, very weak.” (The Thin Place Reading Group Guide p5) This sounded like a world where our mundane reality and would mix with the world of myth and legend. There is mention of Inuit legends, a girl who brings people back to life, and the everyday goings on of a small town. There long meandering sentences that give you the world’s point of view. I like the chapters from Margaret the dog’s point of view, and from Helen the 90-year-old’s. But, the whole time I was reading I felt like every chapter was a puzzle piece and someone had put the wrong picture on the back of the box. I wanted it to make sense so much that I forced myself to the end. I put in all the work that I normally do with books that I like – writing down the words I don’t know or that are differently by the current text, and I copy out all the quotes I found fascinating. I turned the last page and I was disappointed. The last chapter was everybody’s deaths. No matter when or where or how they died, we had to read through everybody’s death. What was ‘thin’ about this place? The characters were close to nature whether they appreciated it or not. A few of them witness the miracle of resurrection. The church was the only place where almost all the characters cross paths, but it seemed more battle ground than a place of worship. I don’t know what I missed here. I am sure there was some greater point I was supposed to walk away with, but I didn’t get it. I didn’t enjoy the experience of getting there either. I just forced myself to do it. There was lots of pretty language, though.

“This is because souls are attracted to measuring devices, those places where things as purely noncorporeal as themselves, which is to say numbers, are made to serve material ends.” P175

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Oct. 4th)

Read:

The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis –I finished this book Sunday afternoon… it took two weeks to get through this very odd novel. And, after all is said and done I can’t say that I enjoyed it. Will discuss further this week.

“Lord Kelvin’s Machine” by James P. Blaylock — This was originally published in 1980 at the beginning of the Steampunk movement. It has been republished in Steampunk edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer.

Reading:

Steampunk edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer — I am reading this as the first book for the Rikki the Bookkeeper’s Steampunk Challenge. I chose this title because it reprints story and excepts from  Steampunk pieces dating back to 1971, plus a couple of non-fiction selections. I thought if we are going to explore a genre, it might be night to get a little foundation.

Blogs:

I looks like other blogs are gearing up for a Steampunk month. The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf & Book Review looks like it is going to have a lot going on, including interviews and giveaways.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

( On a personal note I continue to thank St. Jude, St. Rita, the Blessed Mother, and Heavenly Father for all the prayers they’ve answered and I continue to pray for their help and blessings.)

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Sept. 27)

Read:

Not a thing….

Reading:

The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis — I mention that last week and said that I wasn’t sure about it. When I wrote about this week I talked about how our exceptions of a book can alter our experience of reading it. I am further along in my reading and I am enjoying the writing. Can’t say I know what is going on, but I will continue to read.

Other News:

A friend of mine, Christa Allan, author of Walking on Broken Glass, help organize a One Book, One School program at Lakeshore High where she also teaches English. They chose to read Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The program was written up in the local paper. It sounds very exciting.

Blogs:

Kim over at Sophisticated Dorkiness got to see 84, Charing Cross Road on STAGE. I’m so jealous. I expressed my love of 84, Charing Cross Road and a few novels in letters this week too.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

( On a personal note I continue to thank St. Jude, St. Rita, the Blessed Mother, and Heavenly Father for all the prayers they’ve answered and I continue to pray for their help and blessings.)

Reading Expectations

“Daniel wouldn’t hear of any attempt to turn monologue to conversation.” p41

The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis is the kind of book you read with a pen and paper at the ready. It is the kind of book that you read slowly, because the sentences take navigation. And, it is the kind of book that you need to read fast because the moment you let your mind wander the whole thing begins to unravel. It is like trying to wind your way through a dream where things only make sense if you concentrate on them.

I don’t know if I’ll like this book. I’m 100 pages into it, over a third of the way, and still I’ve my hands stretched out in front of me trying not to fall. I think my brain is finally letting go of the misconceptions it formed selecting the book. (I wish the Book Mooch wish-list function had a place to write down where you’d heard of a book) I thought it was a historical and not as in the “past couple of decades” sense.  I seemed to have completely missed the first lines about the early years of the 21st century. The brain so convince of other things. I thought the main girls were teenagers, and spent several chapters convinced of that too.

I don’t know how I got so lost to be confused by sentence two. There is a pace to the book. It shifts every chapter, but is always flowing quietly like water. Part of me wants to skip ahead to the Reader’s Guide in the back, that part of me that always read the questions first on a standardize test so that I wouldn’t miss what I was supposed to be looking for. But, I don’t want to spoil it. I’m already in a third of the way.

The narrators change ever chapter. Each voice, a new puzzle to exam and try to make fit. Even the dogs and the world itself get it due. I can’t tell you what is going on, or even if I’ll like the book when it is done. Its tale played out. Maybe this one is about the journey; is that too cliché? No, I don’t like books that are great, but for the ending. Or the language is nice, but I didn’t get it. I hope the promise of the back is fulfilled and I get the wonder and myth.

“The three girls continued walking, letting the chatter of the brook stand in for speech, their thoughts running around and around the dark corridors of their brains like mice, hearts ticking a mile a minute, unable to see a thing and endlessly squeaking, trapped in a maze the point of which remained beyond comprehension.” P99

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Sept. 20th)

Author Interview:

If you haven’t stopped by this week, please check out my very first ever author interview: 5 Minutes with Pamela Ewen

Read:

The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley — I really enjoyed this middle grade novel, which I picked up from BookMooch.  The publisher says ages 10-14, but I think it has appeals for older readers as well, esp. those who enjoy rewritten fairy tales and legends. You can read my review here.

Reading:

The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis — this one is a little confusing and I’m not really sure where it is going yet. I picked this up from BookMooch.

Acquired:

The Barnes & Noble boxes arrived this week. Yay, Birthday gift cards.

To feed my Nero Wolf obsession, I got three books about the series. Fan guides of a sort. I can’t wait to start going through them. I also received, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions and Death’s Duel by John Donne. I’d been watching 84, Charing Cross Road and listening to Helene Hanff talk about Donne’s essays, which I’ve never read and decided that it was time to remedy that. I like a lot of Donne’s poetry, so I’m looking forward to the essays.  I also picked out Blackout by Connie Willis, because I really enjoyed To Say Nothing of the Dog and I heard a wonderful interview with her talking about the title. And lastly, I got These Children Who Come At You with Knives and of other fairy tales by Jim Knipfel, which I don’t know a lot about, but it sounded cool.

Blogs:

While the contest is over, I thought that The Lost Entwife’s review and enthusiasm for A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka was contagious and I have added this title to my Wish List.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

( On a personal note I’d like to thank St. Jude, St. Rita, the Blessed Mother, and Heavenly Father for all the prayers they’ve answered in the last month and to continue to ask for their help and blessings.)