Friday, 15 July 2011

The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein (Book Review)

From the back cover:

“When Berkeley student Will Taylor is introduced by his best friend Ben to the mysterious Feierabend sisters, Will falls for enigmatic Livvy, a chemistry major and accomplished chef. But Livvy’s family—vivacious actress Maddie, family historian Rose, and their mother, absent-minded Sylvia—behave strangely. The Feierabend women appear to believe that luck is their birthright. Will and Ben learn that generations ago the family made a contract with a powerful otherwordly force, and they are now all entangled in an ages-old fairy tale.

“First discovered by the Brothers Grimm, and then inexplicably suppressed, the story of the Bondsmaid had been lost to the world for hundreds of years. The sacrifice of the Bondsmaid kept what little magic long supplanted by science, left in the world. Will must unravel the riddle of the supernatural bargain in order to save Livvy from her predestined fate.”

The story revolves around the time of 1971 just after the Hippy Revolution, including references such as a car with a choke. It was a nice step back down memory lane for me combined with fantasy in tantalizing bits keeping the story fresh throughout. It delves into the known mythological history of the faerie realm: glamour, dancing, elves, witches, wars between magical groups similar to the Wild Hunt. There is also a reference of kissing frogs, one of my favourite stories from childhood.

An entertaining read that kept me spell bound from the first chapter. It takes the concept of fairy tales and provides a fresh look. Everything is well detailed including the use of dimensions that overlap and the consequences of traveling between them. An ancient bargain for family fortune has its pitfalls for any family member who meddles.

LISA GOLDSTEIN is the author of novels and short story collections. Her novel The Red Magician won the American Book Award and she has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.

Review copy provided by Charlene Brusso, with many thanks.

Book format: paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Author website: Lisa Goldstein
Available: June 2011 ISBN 978-1-61696-014-8


Charles Gramlich said...

A car with a choke. wow, that does bring back memories. The idea behind this one sounds very good.

Barbara Martin said...

Charles, my brother has an ancient Mercedes with a choke, so when I read that it really brought back the memories for me too.

Reader Wil said...

I should have liked to have had you for my teacher of English literature. You have given us a thorough description of this book and many others! Thank you for your visit.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your review Barbara, but loved the bit about the choke. Had forgotten all about those! Owned some questionable cars when I was younger, and that choke gave me lots of trouble trying to get to work on cold and frosty mornings, or leaving somewhere in the early hours of a new day!!

Donnetta said...

Great review. Sounds sooo interesting. Hope all is well in your world. D