Monday, 26 February 2018

The Gloaming


Book Title: The Gloaming
Author: Kirsty Logan
Date Started: February 12th 2018
Date Completed: February 23rd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Adult
Quality Rating: Four Stars
Enjoyment Rating: Five Star
Final Rating: Four stars

◆ Thanks to Netgalley for this ebook for review ◆

Oh, for the love of fairytales. This is a story made for lovers of books, of the sea, of fairytales, of love stories and of magic. It's halfway between a fairytale and a literary fiction novel itself, and it sucked me in straight from the start.

It's not exactly what I would call magical realism - at least not in the literal sense. Which is ironic because no one can quite define magical realism. We have mermaids that turn out to not be mermaids, and curses that are more or less imagined, but we also have people turning to stone (or do they?). As much as the genre frustrates a lot of people, I have to say I love the way the interpretations belong to their readers. I read The Gloaming from he magical perspective but I'm sure you can read it more from the realist one and enjoy it just as much.

This is simultaneously a book where not much happens, and yet you're constantly waiting for the next thing. Logan's writing is enchanting in and of itself, but by following four or five interweaving characters, there are patterns and clues that you pick up from each one that connects everything. From what I remember of The Gracekeepers, there was a similar sort of structure; multiple players jumping around the main plot as they travel around together. The Gloaming is more isolated geographically but builds it characters up bigger I think.

It's a beautiful story, but damn it's sad. There's obviously a commentary on modernisation, growing up in general and love. That's not to say it's an unhappy ending. On the contrary, I felt a somewhat cathartic joy when I finished it on the train. I think it's really important we have stories that have tough topics but also representation that end well (the lesbian romance is some of the best representation of its kind I've read). Not all struggles have to end in misery, especially not in fiction.

I almost want to study this book. The recurring symbols, the metaphors, the little retellings. It's as rich as something you'd read in school but so much more creative. I hope Logan continues to receive recognition and will hopefully be able to give us more soon.

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