This is the type of book you go to book groups for. I would never have picked this one up on my own. It was a departure from most of what I read and we had a fascinating discussion about it.
It is basically fantasy, or maybe more accurately, I am told, “magical realism.” It is at once an allegorical story of good vs. evil, and an archetypal fable of the three types of womanhood. There is an innocent one who sacrifices himself for all mankind but doesn’t die as a result. It is at once a tale of loneliness and friendship. The evil and the good both attempt to give people what they want from different motives; the evil one entices with money and sexuality, whereas the good utilizes nurturing and healing. And facing fears is the key to victory.
Here is a choice bit: “”Oh, monsters are scared,’ said Lettie, ‘That’s why they are monsters. And as for grown-ups… Grown-ups don’t look like grown ups on the inside either. Outside, they are big and thoughtless and they always know what they are doing. Inside, they just look like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown ups. Not one, in the whole world.’”
The ultimate message? There is no way to fail as a human being. I give this short, riveting read 5 stars. Give it a try for something different.