Sunday, October 21, 2007
Review: Rain Village
Rain Village by Carolyn Turgeon
Summary (adapted from Booklist): Tessa is a very small girl and, to her family's bewilderment and ridicule, she isn't cut out for farmwork. Instead, Tessa gets a job at the local library, where the enigmatic librarian, Mary, with her stories of the circus and potions for the lovelorn, takes Tessa under her wing and teaches her the art of trapeze flying. When life gets difficult at home and she loses Mary, Tessa escapes to the circus. Over time, Tessa finds a home among the circus performers, falls in love with a wonderful man, and becomes a mother. However, when a stranger comes around talking about Mary, all of Tessa's old feelings bubble back to the surface. She must decide between the life she knows or risk it all to follow this stranger, who can lead her to the place that may hold the secret to Mary's death.
My thoughts: I really liked this one at first. The cover's gorgeous and it's about an enchanted librarian who drives men wild and tells women's futures? Woo hoo! Turgeon has a gift for descriptions, particularly of scents (Mary is always associated with cinnamon and oranges), the dazzling sights of the circus, and the mysterious, magical Rain Village. I was so glad that Tessa found a new, happy life with the circus people, but when she risked it all and went away with the stranger, I was mad at her. I'm finding lately that I have very little patience for characters who make what I consider to be stupid decisions and I have a hard time forgiving them. While I guess that her search for Mary's past provided closure for Tessa, I didn't feel that it revealed any great secrets, which was a disappointment - the building up to the discovery of the village and then not much happened (unless I missed something).
However, if you're feeling like a bit of magic, I'd still say it's worth a read, particularly for the early parts in the library and the circus.
(Final ranty note: I got tired of the constant references to Tessa's "starfish hands" - I couldn't visualize them. Were her fingers abnormally far apart? Did her thumb and pinkie start near her wrist? Were her fingers all the same length?)