Quirk Books, 2012
This is a book unlike any I've read before: it's literally a two-sided story. Pick it up, think it's like any normal book. Then you realize: it's accordion-folded. Read through one perspective, then turn the book over, and start reading again - from the other perspective. If it sounds a little odd, don't worry: once you have it in your hand, it makes a lot more sense. And you will probably be a little in awe, if you are anything like me.
So much for the book format, but what about the story? Well it's pretty much as amazing as the format. Have you ever read a book, told from one character's perspective, and wondered what the other was thinking? Especially when it's a love story? Theodora has given us a chance to see the same story play out from two wholly different points of view: Evelyn's and Brendan's. I read Evelyn's story first, and found myself emotionally invested fairy quickly - I devoured her story. When it ended, I almost got really sad: it was over! And then I remembered I still needed to flip the book and read Brendan's side of things. Happiness! And wow - what an experience.
I loved seeing the way Brendan reacted to the scenes and situations that I'd read about already with Evelyn. I also really loved finding out the 'background info' - what had been going on during the gaps in Evelyn's knowledge. And the ending? Oh. My. Word. Of course, then I found myself wondering: What if I had read Brendan's story first instead of Evelyn's? How would the experience have been different - how would my reactions have changed? Since I can't go back and reread it all fresh, I'm going to have to wait and see if someone else reads it that way - and then we'll talk. Deal?
Another thing I want to note real fast about the novel overall, before I move on to the Q&A with Theodora, and that is the element of the Green Knight legend. I'm a huge fan of medieval literature - I took several classes in college, and I simply enjoy the language and imagery. Evelyn and Brendan are medievalists, with an overlapping specialty: the Green Knight. It's part of what brings them together, it's part of what tears them apart, it's part of what makes their world continue. And the story is fascinating. Definitely a great addition to an already engrossing story.
Book provided by publisher for review.
Have I caught your interest? I hope so! And to further sharpen your curiosity, here's a quick Q&A I got to do with Theodora ...
We get to see how Evelyn and Brendan discover the story of the Green Knight - how did you discover it? What is your "Green Knight story"?
Was it difficult writing the same story from two perspectives?
Which was more fun to write: Evelyn's story or Brendan's?
Thanks so much, Theodora, for taking the time to answer my questions!
Remember that hint about a giveaway? The awesome people at Quirk Books have graciously offered two copies of The Thorn and the Blossom plus bookmarks! US & Canada only though, sorry any international readers! Fill out the snazzy Rafflecopter form below, and let me know if you have any problems. Good luck!
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