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The Truth About Celia Paperback – July 13, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
On a cool day in March, seven-year-old Celia Brooks vanishes from her backyard, leaving no signs as to whether she ran away or was abducted. It's as if she simply ceased existing. The unexplained --- and apparently unexplainable --- nature of Celia's disappearance overwhelms her father and mother, Christopher and Janet, and begins to tear at their marriage as if, having been parents, they cannot return to being lovers or even friends.
Brockmeier implies that Celia's family will never know the truth about her and that they will be haunted for the rest of their lives. But he balances their consuming pain and confusion with a playful sense of wonder that underscores the novel's immense tragedy, making THE TRUTH ABOUT CELIA simultaneously wrenching and whimsical.
An Arkansas resident who has published a children's book called CITY OF NAMES and a short-story collection entitled THINGS THAT FALL FROM THE SKY, Brockmeier is a curious and questioning writer who seems to draw from many disparate influences. Comprised of agile, eloquent sentences speckled with clear, evocative imagery, his writing combines Nicholson Baker's miniaturist eye for daily routines and household rituals, Italo Calvino's ability to mirror reality through fairy tales, and Vladimir Nabokov's restless structural innovation.
It's this last one that will likely strike readers immediately in THE TRUTH ABOUT CELIA. Like Nabokov's PALE FIRE, it is a book within a book.Read more ›
This is the task of the narrator, Christopher, in Kevin Brockmeier's novel. The novel takes place during a seven year period at the beginning of which Christopher's seven year old daughter, Celia, disappears while playing in her own yard.
Christopher's attempts to explain this incomprehensible loss bear resemblance to the science fiction and horror books that he has authored. We experience Celia in a number of ways beyond the seven year old in an American small town setting. We meet her as the heroine of a fairy tale and as a victim who is trapped with earlier friends in a world that is separate from but privy to the one her parents occupy. We witness her as an adult in a world whose passage of time is not synchronized with our own.
This is not an easy book. It requires the reader to travel with Christopher as he explores the several routes his child might have taken. And like the narrator, we're in the dark,always wondering if we will learn enough to finish the puzzle of Celia's life.
Beyond the brief descriptions of Christopher and his wife's deteriorating [sexual] relationship, this is a very sensual book. The narrator[s] have a heightened awareness of their milieus' sounds, sights, smells and tactile events as they attempt to break through "the tissue" that separates one reality from the next.
Certainly not a fun or easy read, this is a book that requires heavy reader participation. It's worth it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I instantly fell in love with this book which is lovely and compelling, and startling and eerie at the same time. Read morePublished on February 24, 2011 by Melissa McCauley
I picked this book up to read on vacation to fill time at the airport only to find that I couldn't put it down!! Read morePublished on October 26, 2008 by S. Kuiper
The Truth About Celia pulled me away from chores and kept me up past my bedtime -- it was simply impossible to put down. Read morePublished on December 5, 2007 by Cara Brookins
This book is very strange. I had to read it for a literature course. It was a good book but really out there!Published on July 8, 2006 by Holly Go-Lightly
Although I enjoyed the writing sytle of "The Truth About Celia," the novel did not come together for me. I never understood what the various disasters, i.e. Read morePublished on March 21, 2006 by Patricia L. Anderson
What do you say about the devastating disappearance of a beloved young daughter? Brockmeier imagines a fictional writer who eventually recovers sufficiently to write this book, a... Read morePublished on June 23, 2004 by algo41