Review: Madapple by Christina Meldrum
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Aslaug has lived an isolated life with her mother in the woods of Maine. A disturbing story is revealed in alternating chapters. One set of chapters reveals the course of Aslaug's life in the summer of 2003. The other reveals Aslaug on trial in 2007, for a crime that isn't even revealed until very late in the book.
These are some crazy *itches. I'm sorry, but that's the logical place to start this.
Aslaug appears to be an innocent victim, living in a house with her mother where they don't have electricity and all the windows are boarded over. Is it to keep the world out or Aslaug in?
When she finally starts to meet other people, she's woefully unprepared for what she finds. She doesn't understand a lot of modern technology, she's brilliant with languages but doesn't understand everyday slang, and she doesn't realize the evil that people can hold in their hearts. Well, evil probably isn't the right word. I'll try again. The evil that fanaticism can lead people to. Save us all from fanatics of any flavor. Is there anything scarier than someone who is doing crazy, hurtful things because they believe that God, Allah, the Easter Bunny, or anyone else has told them it's their sacred duty to do so?
I can't say that I enjoyed this--I was too upset throughout most of it for that. But I'm still mulling over some of the religious history and characters' behavior that I read here. This is a book to get under your skin and unsettle you for a while. If you're in the mood for that, go for it. If not, steer clear.
If you've already read this, you can check out pictures of the plants mentioned in the book on the author's website.