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Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick - review

“If a life can be ruined in a single moment, a moment of betrayal, or violence, or ill luck, then why can a life not also be saved, be worth living, be made, by just a few pure moments of perfection?”

Title: Midwinterblood
Author: Marcus Sedgwick

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Source: Purchased via Kindle Store
Available: Now
Buy it: Here

Synopsis

Eric and Merle, two souls in love, destined to find each other through seven existences.
An island, a hare, a flower and a promise of eternal life. All of these things intertwine as the Island of Blessed divulges it's history.

Review

Ok, first off - for three sentences, that synopsis was very hard to write! It's hard to put into words what the true synopsis of Midwinterblood was, exactly, as it is such an intricately written and constructed story - but I sure as hell enjoyed the ride.

The narrative of Midwinterblood is very fragmented, non-linear and episodic. Each chapter presents "Merle" and "Eric" in new bodies, new lives and new time periods. However, though this may sound confusing, each episode in the existence of these souls is linked via recurring themes; flowers, hares and love. The narrative is also circular. In the final chapter the reader is brought back to the beginning, and the fragmented tales take whole new shape and meaning.

The construct of the book, though, pales in significance to the mystery of the story itself. Midwinterblood is a wonderful example of magical realism and has a sense of pagan folklore about it. Though a love story at it's heart, each episode divulged a different secret that increased the sense of mystery; a childless community, the promise of eternal life, an empty half of an island, a hidden painting, a crying hare. Each one was a mini-tale in it's own right, preparing the reader for the novel's end.

In honesty, I am finding it quite hard to review Midwinterblood as I feel I need to read it a couple more times to fully appreciate what it has done. It was beautifully written and unique, a wonderful surprise and surpassing my expectation. However, I can't help but feel I have not "got it" all yet. I feel there are things I haven't picked up on, or messages hidden within the text I haven't worked out.

I guess the greatest accolade I can give this book is that I most definitely do want to read it all again to work these things out :)

Overall

Midwinterblood is a beautifully written book with a haunting effect. I do not feel I have fully unlocked it's greatness (and I do believe it's there) but I look forward to re-reads in the future to try and do just that!

Score 
★★★

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