Because all of life is stories.
What originally drew me to this book was the cover. I know what you’re thinking. Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s the oldest cliche in the business. But truly, illustrator Jim Kay deserves massive credit for his beautiful and haunting creations. They aren’t just window dressing here. They do what the best illustrations do. They help to tell the story. They breathe life. And for that, Kay deserves accolades of the highest order.
With that said, let me introduce you to this book. This wonderful, beautiful, tragic story. It was conceived by a woman named Siobhan Dowd. She was a writer and an activist, and tragically died of cancer before she ever got the chance to write it. This inspired her friend, Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go) to take up the cause and see to it that this work was published.
And forever I will be thankful that he did.
A Monster Calls is the journey of a young boy dealing with a monster, predictably. But it isn’t the one you think. In fact when you meet the monster you assume is the big baddy our protagonist stares him down. He says he’s got bigger problems. And when you discover what they are, you’ll wish he didn’t just like I did.
Soon enough you’ll discover the truth, the boys mother is sick. Very sick. What follows is the tale of one monster helping a young boy fight another. A monster that statistically, everyone reading this review has had to face. I won’t say any more for fear of ruining what is one of the most important works of fiction I’ve ever read. Just know this:
This book is poignant and powerful.
This book conjures up hope and fear, desperation and sorrow, despair and in the end, I hope, a little bit of faith.
I realize that this may not be the most descriptive review ever. And for that I am sorry. But in the end this is what I have to say about this book:
Read it. Read it and cherish it. Read it for those that you knew in the same situation, or those that you may know. Read it because it is a beautiful book, and a more than fitting testament to a beautiful woman. I wish I knew her. I’m glad that Mr. Ness and Mr. Kay let me into her world, even a little bit. Even for just a few hours. Because now ill know her for eternity.