Monday, June 16, 2008

A Review: Madapple by Christina Meldrum

The protagonist in this young adult novel, Christina Meldrum’s Madapple, is fifteen-year-old Aslaug. Born under mysterious circumstances and raised in insolation - physical and of the mind - she is one to which the reader is instantly drawn. Her life, one that relies so heavily on flowers and herbs and things of nature, and of the unhealthy relationship she shares with her mother, is pulling.

Her story is told in not just one, but two ways. Chapters alternate, very smoothly, very comfortably, between Aslaug’s own first-person narrative and an objective, dialogue-only format; one the reader sees as if it was pulled from the pages of court transcripts.

The two views, separated by four years, are woven together masterfully: Aslaug’s own telling of mystifying events, of what she knows—believes—to have happened to herself, with that of the trial - the more straight-forward seemingly factual side of things - in which she finds herself accused of unspeakable things. Because the two parts are blended together so perfectly, the reader becomes both invested in Aslaug’s heartrending circumstances, and prejudicial to the courtroom’s basic, peripheral account.

Meldrum, in this debut novel, has approached her tale with satisfying quality, fullness and beauty. Every writer should strive to show a story so richly, so completely; to create a narrative as difficult to put down as this was.

This book leaves the reader with, among other things, a realization that there are two sides to every story. If you’d like to find out which side to believe, pick up a copy of Christina Meldrum’s Madapple.
To read more about this book, or see additional reviews, please visit Blog Stop Book Tours.


Travis Erwin said...

Great Cover and title. Sounds like a book my wife would really like. I'll have to tell her about it.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Wow, that sounds like a really cool story! Your review brings it to life.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Great review - I look forward to reading this!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Travis and lenore, you'll have to let me know if your wife/you (respectively) like it!

Thanks for the fab compliment, Melanie!


WendyCinNYC said...

That sounds like a very interesting book. Thanks, Janna.

Michele said...

You did a wonderful job of sharing the story this book tells, Janna! Thanks for sharing it with us. ;-)


Janna Leadbetter said...

If you ever take a look at it, Wendy, let me know what you thought.

Thanks, Michele! *smiles back*

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