Very slow and very detailed but the beautiful, whimsical writing kept me reading on. Also, I think I won’t be able to sleep if I wouldn’t find out who Grandmother is. Yes, that’s what intrigued me most and not so much the boy that Natalie needed to save. I appreciate the plot devices used in the story. There’s a little of history, a lot of mystery, sci-fi, time-travel, psychology, fantasy and magical realism but as to what the story is mainly trying to say, I’m still not sure. Safest to say, the story is about love.
Grandmother’s stories kind of remind me of A Monster Calls Yew Tree’s stories and for the most part, it’s these stories that mostly encouraged me to keep reading on.
“But until I can figure out my own place in all of this, I want to hear other people’s stories. Knowing stories that have been around forever and have almost been lost a hundred times already, it feels important.”
Also the friendship between the main character and her best friend is very admirable.
“You know, I like to think of myself as somehow expert on my best friend, but the truth is I have no idea how to help with all of this. Okay? Tell me what you need and tell me every single time you need it, and I’ll be there.”
What didn’t work for me is how all these various, diverse elements combined have become overwhelming and confusing and for some reason, that took away the emotional impact the story could have had on me. At some point, I just wanted for the book to be over which is not a good sign because often you don’t want a good book to end. Getting to the end to me felt like running on a street maid of jell-o. The path looks nice but you could imagine my struggle. Alas, the conclusion only left me underwhelmed.
Still a recommendable read for the writing, minor themes and creativity. Ms. Henry is a talented writer and for a debut novel, The Love that Split the World is still pretty decent.