Thursday, January 29, 2015
Brilliantly written, thought provoking adult fairy tale about the death of innocence. Wonderfully written, spare yet eloquent, Albert and Beryl are representations of Adam and Eve, living in blissful peace with only a messenger John as a connection to the outside world. Their only concern is keeping a flame going. John is their gospel, soothing them from the monsters hiding in the darkness. Soon, one of the monsters insidiously works his way into their trust, and the old man and woman find their world is changing. New objects clutter their clearing, they lose touch with John, his voice of reason becoming nothing more than birdsong. The monster extinguishes both the light, and John's sensible voice. Soon, they are squabbling, and they can't communicate with each other. Their life is unrecognizable, filled with silliness. They lose touch with themselves, and each other. A frightening, allegorical tale of the price of apathy, and our distance from reason. McFarlane is a clever writer. His prose draws you in, and propels the reader with his fascinating plot. Though you know where the story is going, the frightening pace, brings the reader to the horrifying conclusion with the impact of a freight train. This is the story of us, and the consequence of ignoring the message that while knowledge is power, we should not get distracted so that we lose sight of the purpose of life and the reasons we are here.
Carole P. Roman