Saved you from what, exactly, you may ask.
Oh...from despair. Boredom. Family gatherings. Pain. Ignorance. And much more.
Today I am going to introduce you to one of the best books I have read in a long time.
It is a "YAL" book, but do not let that keep you from reading it when you are over 23!
We have a wonderful, huge, bookstore in Rotterdam called Donner, and going there is an outing for me and a torment at the same time, for I don't have a lot of money and I could easily buy fifty books at one go...I usually admonish myself to keep it civilized (1 book) and end up buying three.
Last time I went there one of the books I snatched up was Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The title alone captivated me. And then I looked closer and saw the intriguing photograph on the cover. Was that girl...hovering?
I've always felt peculiar myself, you see. But that's beside the point. So let me tell you about this great book.
The story is about a young American adult called Jacob and his close bond with his grandfather Abe Portman. Abe is forever telling Jacob stories about his youth on Cairnholm, a magical island in the coastal waters of Wales, and Jacob first believes every word (as children do) and then when he gets older starts to suspect they are just stories as a metaphor for Abe's troubled childhood as a Jewish boy in the Second World War.
Jacob is very troubled himself, so much so that he sees a psychiatrist, dr. Golan. After some time he feels that the only option for him is to go and visit Cairnholm himself and see if he can put Grandpa's story to rest. Closure...to use such an over-used word. He manages to convince his dysfunctional Dad to take him, and together they set off for Wales.
I will not spoil the plot for you, but take it from me that it has some pretty gruesome twists and scenes.
Not only does Jacob find out the truth about his beloved grandfather, but also about his own peculiarities and he finally comes into his own and finds friendship and perhaps even true love in the process.
The book is filled with amazing and sometimes haunting black and white photographs, which form a major addition to the story. And here's the thing: you probably have known about this book for ages, but us Wetlanders only were told of it because it has now been turned into a major motion picture...
The flap tells me there's a sequel, Hollow City.
I will have to make a trip to Donner's soon!
Read that book!