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A Land of Dissapointment
on July 24, 2012
Disappointment comes to mind when describing Grace McCleen's "The Land of Decoration". The book centers around a young girl, Judith, who's bleak relationship with her widowed father and ties to a religious group that believes "The End" is within a few years' reach, leave Judith as an outcast and lonely child. As a means to escape daily bullying and emotionally connect, Judith begins building her own land in her room each night. It's one night in particular that starts the story off, where Judith wishes for a snow storm and suddenly the town is knee-deep in thick snow, closing down school and the local factories. From here till the end of the book, Judith begins to believe her wishes and decoration of her miniature town are the cause of the town's random occurrences and problems.
McCleen begins the story and executes it quite well with character build and intense imagery, so much so, that my dissatisfaction didn't appear till the very end. It's as if, she suddenly became tired with the story and wanted a simple exit. Throughout the book, the story continuously builds upon itself and then abruptly takes a wrong turn and ends. Whereas I enjoyed 3/4s of the book, McCleen's choice of how to end was so weak and undeserving, that it cast a dark shadow over the entire novel.