- File Size: 5136 KB
- Print Length: 276 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Wild Culture Press (December 30, 2016)
- Publication Date: December 30, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MU697U0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,655,994 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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The Winter Knife (Minnesota Strange Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I do have one criticism in that both Haley and her friend Sally seem to have the wisdoms and foresight of someone looking back on their painful teen years, not someone living through them. I remember being in a very similar situation at that age and all that went through my head was mortification and the need to be accepted. It wasn't until I was much older that I could see that life was more than popularity.
But overall, a nice story for younger readers who might need a reminder of that.
I also thought the UU church music group was handled very well: the author described the dark side that can develop in such communities, without going overboard. With one notable exception, everybody in the story was human--adults and kids alike--and nobody was irredeemable. These people were authentic UUs, struggling and often failing to live out their beliefs in inclusion, tolerance and the "inherent worth and dignity of every person."
There were times when Haley seemed a little too mature for her years. In her interactions with Rosa, and with Kirsten in particular, she kept her cool much better than I would have, and I'm her parents' age, not hers. And her whole plan to save everyone, including the magical creature who was carrying out her deepest most destructive desires, succeeded remarkably, and improbably, well for something conceived of by two desperate 14-year-olds in study hall. This section of the novel describing her trip north may go on a bit too long, with too many stops to put out raw hamburger and visit the McDonald's restroom. But it also came across as realistic, and it succeeded in building suspense, making me fear a much more dreadful crash and burn than actually occurred in the story. I had come to like and care about Haley, so the ending came as a relief.
Haley's realizations at the memorial service are another instance of her seeming more mature than she should be, given her stated age, but I don't think it's a serious enough issue to prevent readers from enjoying the book. She has done something heroic and survived, and she knows it. She is Dorothy returned from Oz, with the realization that what she needed was already within her all the time. Readers accompanying her on the journey will feel this way too.