Monday, January 28, 2013

The Storyteller

The Storyteller

by Antonia Michaelis


Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?

Award-winning author Antonia Michaelis moves in a bold new direction with her latest novel: a dark, haunting, contemporary story that is part mystery, part romance, and part melodrama.

My thoughts:

I picked up this book because I had previously read Michaelis' Tiger Moon and fell in love with her writing style and storytelling abilities.  So of course when I saw this book I had to try it.  Once again I was simply blown away by the story and the beautiful writing.  Michaelis is a master at keeping the reader guessing.  For the entire book I never knew what to expect next or I would think that I had it all figured out and then my opinions and everything I knew about the characters (or thought I knew) would be turned upside down on me.  I know that sounds frustrating but it never was it just pulled me deeper into the story.  From the very start of the book you know it is going to be a dark tale and as you start reading and getting to know the characters the suspense from the beginning of the book is always there in the back of your mind and you just pray everyone will come through all right.  Anna is a girl who has everything but feels trapped by her inexperience.  Abel is a mystery to pretty much everyone and wants to keep it that way.  When Anna finds a doll in the student center Abel claims it as his and just like that Anna is hooked.  She decides to follow Abel and see what she can find out.  What she finds is not at all what she expected; Abel has a little sister that he is taking care of all by himself.  Anna's curiosity won't let her turn away and she follows the two of them to a cafe where she eavesdrops on Abel as he starts to tell Micha (his little sister) the story of the cliff queen.  Abel is very protective of his sister but Anna is persistent   She gradually becomes involved in their lives - in Abel's attempt to keep his sister with him even though he is a minor and in Micha's questions about their missing mother.  Anna wants to help even as Abel tries to push her away but  she is slowly becoming a main character in the cliff queen's fairy tale.  This book haunted me and I found myself, after having finished it, having trouble sleeping because I couldn't get it out of my head.   I can't say it enough I loved this book but be warned it is dark and you shouldn't expect a happy ending.

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