Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Book: Skellig

(This will be a short review. If you're interested, you can also read wonderful reviews from Susan and Nymeth)

A short, quick, but touching read, Skellig is the story of a boy who moves to a new house, and finds a strange man in his falling-down garage. A strange man who is perhaps not a man at all. But what is he, then? Part owl? Part angel? Whatever he is, he's curmudgeonly and ill and stubborn at first, but as he gets to know Michael (the boy) and Mina (his friend, a quirky home-schooled girl), he eases into a dreamy sort of mysterious mystical being.

The story revolves are Michael's baby sister, dangerously ill with some unknown affliction. Michael tries to balance his worry over his sister, and his worry (and wonder) over Skellig, and his rather demanding new friend Mina, and his old school mates. He's got his hands full, and he handles it as well as any 12-year-old would -- sometimes gallantly, sometimes badly. Always with a full heart.

This book, deceptively simply written, is also full of heart, and love and mystery and the tender moments between people when they are in pain of all sorts.

I liked it. It's the sort of book that stays with you after you're done. I didn't understand much of it -- who was Skellig? What kind of a name is Skellig anyway? Why did he have arthritis? Why was he in the garage? Lots of unanswered questions. But sometimes life is like that -- you get what you get and that's all you get. Why is my baby sister so sick? Well, that's just how it is sometimes. Why is there a half-bird man in my garage? Who knows? That's just how it is.

It reminded me of my own rather ramshackle backyard, and how I always wanted to find some magical being tucked away (and would search for this unknown magical being). I found myself tearing up while reading, for no particular reason except that it was a sweet story, and I related to much of it in a heartfelt way, although I felt confused by Skellig himself and his presence in the story. However, it worked. I liked it. You go read it now.


Barefoot_Mommy said...

oh i sooooo want to, now.

Nymeth said...

It's the tender movements that make me love Almond so much <3

Daphne said...

It's a good one. Very sweet. I might have to check him out more...