by Steven Hendricks
Publisher: Campanile Books
Readers enter a narrative rabbit hole through bedtime stories that Mr. Fin, a man with dementia, conjures for his long-lost son. Virginia the Wolf writes her last novel to lure her daughter home. A rabbit named Hart Crane must eat words to speak, while passing zeppelins drop bombs. Mr. Fin tries to read the past in marginalia and to rebuild his son from boat parts. The haunting fables in this lyrical first novel trace the fictions that make and unmake us.
I'm not really sure where to start with this book. I had a very hard time understanding exactly what was happening, and even deciphering who is a person or a rabbit or a fish. I was intrigued by the concept of this novel, but I had a hard time following. The book jumped back and forth between narratives so much that I had trouble grasping what was actually happening, what was real and what was fictional.
I did, however, really enjoy the beauty of the writing. I can tell that Hendricks spent a great deal of time laboring over each and every word and phrase because it is absolutely beautiful. There was one line that stuck out from the entire book, it said "he wandered into that small place where breath cannot follow." I actually spend a few minutes every day just pondering how beautiful of a euphemism for death that is. I honestly would give this book 5 stars just because Hendricks came up with that line. It has been a great deal of time (or at least since AP Lang was in full swing) since I've read such wonderful and thought provoking writing.
While I really wanted to fall in love with the characters, I felt that they were a tad lackluster (especially compered to the writing that created them). I had a fun time reading about each of them, but they all ran together, and without vivid descriptions of every character, I had trouble picturing them especially early on.
This book was just the adult form of a bedtime story (funny that I always read it at bedtime), and it was highly enjoyable. If you are looking for a fun and intriguing read with fantastic writing, I would recommend this novel.