Saturday, June 01, 2013

In the Shadow of Blackbirds, by Cat Winters: a Review

In the Shadow of BlackbirdsIn the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Cat Winters was a young girl, she watched an episode of Ripley's Believe it or Not which featured the fairy photographs taken by cousins Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths. As a reader, I am grateful that she did because the interest in the WWI era, spiritualism, photography, and the horrors of the Spanish Influenza came together in a marvelous story of young love, tragedy, and the value of tenacity.

Immediately, Winters' impresses with her use of voice and back story. The motion of Mary Shelley's journey and the rhythm of the prose meld seamlessly. In the Shadow of Blackirds reflects deep research without flaunting it. The cast was uncluttered, the memories pertinent, the characters well formed, and to give credit where it's due- they physical book is beautiful.

Tip of the hat to the genius who decided to write the story in black on white and the author's note, acknowledgements, dedication and copyright page in white on black. The typeface is elegant, chapter headers interesting, and although the cover art frustrated me in that it only nearly recreates an image featured in the story, it's pretty fantastic as well.

Loved this story.

1 reflections:

James Clarke said...

This book sounds really good. When I finish the books I am reading now (George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series), I'll be sure to grab this one. You can say I am a fan of tragedies and war stories. Thanks for the review.

- James from glycolic peel