Gothic Reading Challenge
Okay, so my original list for the Gothic Reading Challenge has pretty much gone out the window. But that’s the beauty of books: they can lead you down mysterious new paths. And few things are more mysterious than Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Jacob has grown up listening to his Grandfather Abraham’s fantastical stories of fleeing Poland, thousands of monsters at his heels, to take refuge in a big old house full of peculiar children: a boy who was filled with bees; a girl who could hold fire in her hands; a pair of siblings who could lift boulders over their heads…all watched over by a hawk who smoked a pipe. A lifetime of stories, condensed into a cigar box full of unbelievable photographs.
But are they really just stories? Or are they something more?
A terrible tragedy forces 16-year-old Jacob to travel to a remote island in search of the peculiar children of whom Abraham always spoke. It is there, in a long-abandoned, mostly destroyed, and moldering house that Jacob begins to unravel his grandfather’s past — and the truth is even more unbelievable, and more dangerous, than fiction.
This is such a difficult book to describe, simply because I’ve never come across another like it. Author Ransom Riggs is a collector of old photographs — old, strange photographs. And over the years of digging through bins at garage sales and seeing his friends’ collections, Riggs set out to construct a story just as fantastical as the photos themselves.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is whimsical, stunning, full of unexpected twists, fantastical characters, and—of course—lots of photographs, which range from a little whacky to downright unbelievable. All are beautiful.
Riggs’ world is carefully designed and amazingly detailed, full of descriptions which both delight and horrify. I was rooting for Jacob all the way, and I have a special place in my heart for Olive.
If you haven’t heard of this book, or weren’t planning on picking it up, put it on your TBR list — it’s amazing.
The Gothic element
Let’s let the book trailer speak for itself, shall we?