Saturday, June 17, 2006
Magical Mystery Tour--Sixth Stop
Around 1 p.m. I finished a very clever book called Owl in Love by Patrice Kindl. Yup, yup, yup, I'm still on The 48 Hour Book Challenge.
This is a book I would never have chosen on my own, not in a hundred years, because it's about a shape-shifter, which makes me think of Star Trek:TNG, and while I liked that show while it was on, I don't feel any great need to read about anything I saw there. However, someone at one of the listservs recommended it when I was looking for magical realism titles. It is both a hoot (forgive the pun, which you'll get in a few minutes) and a very decent, well-done story.
Owl, our main character, is a fourteen-year-old shapeshifter, whose alternate shape is, you guessed it, an owl. She's also seriously in love with Mr. Lyman, her English teacher. No, wait. That was me. No, Owl is in love with Mr. Lindstrom, her science teacher, whom she refers to as "my love" abd stalks when she's out hunting for food at night. (Like the teenage vampires in Twilight, her diet makes for problems in the school cafeteria.)
Since Owl's family lives outside the loop a la The Munsters or The Addams Family, she is hysterically clueless about teen life. For instance, she's never ridden in any kind of automobile, and when finally forced to board a school bus, she refers to it as "this mobile home of the damned." She's also stunned to find that when her new friend Dawn holds out her pet gerbil to her, she's not offering it as an after school snack.
Very early on a mysterious character in a mental hospital is introduced. I didn't have a lot of hope for that storyline, but Kindl weaves it in very well. And I must say, as much as I enjoyed the fish-out-of-water character with a crush on her teacher, I probably would have grown tired of it before long. This new character really did become an important part of the book and gave the basic premise a more involving storyline.