The Changeling

This book. Wow. It was creepy. Really creepy and upsetting and gave me super weird dreams! It is a few years old but I interviewed the author (he was really cool!) for Random House’s summer reads panel so I wanted to read it but had no idea what I was getting into, only that it had received incredible press and accolades. Trigger warning for just about everything: violence and child murder and monsters. Do monsters get a trigger warning? It starts out innocently enough: Apollo Kagwa is a rare books dealer whose father disappeared when he was child. He meets Emma; they marry, and start a life together. But one day he wakes up and Emma has committed a terrible act and ran away. Apollo’s search for her leads him to all sorts of places: a mysterious island of women and children in the middle of the East River, a graveyard, a Norwegian neighborhood in Queens, and the only forest in New York. The book is gruesome and scary, the writing is beautiful (while totally different in terms of plot, the writing reminded me quite a bit of Emily St. John Mandel’s writing in The Glass Hotel. All sorts of other things come into play: racism, sexism, postpartum depression and anxiety… I am going to be really honest with you: this book is a masterpiece and beautifully written but I did not enjoy it. Honestly, I just wanted it to be over with (though I could not stop reading?) So it could get an A+ for writing and deserves all of the acclaim but I’m only going to give it a B+ because this is my blog and I do what I want. I will say it’s going to haunt me for a very long time.