In Varennes, a town near the Canadian border, three girls come across the body of a dead man on the local lake's beach. Two of them run to get help, but 12-year-old Mees Kipp stays with the body and somehow, inexplicably, brings it back to life. Her mysterious gift is at the center of this haunting and transcendent novel.
The Thin Place is the story of these girls, their town, and the worldly and otherworldly forces that come into play there over one summer. Writing at the peak of her powers, Kathryn Davis draws on commonplace forms, police blotters, garden almanacs, Sunday sermons, horoscopes, and diaries to convey the rich rhythms of life in Varennes. From the ladies in the old-folks' home to trappers, lawyers, teachers, ministers, drug addicts, even the dogs and cats, beavers and bears, she peoples this novel with astonishingly vivid beings. The extraordinary comes to visit an ordinary town.
©2006 Kathryn Davis; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.
"Never has Davis' prose seemed more effortless...The Thin Place is a bright, shimmering book." (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Cosmic in her vision, provocative and comic in her storytelling, Kathryn Davis draws on sources as diverse as quantum physics and tales of saints and miracles and makes place a key element in her exploratory fiction." (Booklist)
This was the most beautifully written book I've read in a while, and there is no one I can think to recommend it to. I wish I remembered where I heard of it initially. It's about a girl who can raise the dead. The book has heavy Christian overtones, which would be a turn off for a lot of people, but also a cynical view of religion, which would be a turn off for those not offended by the overtones. But the writing was just heart-achingly beautiful and the ending literally left me dumbfounded.
I listened to this based on a review in Bookmarks magazine. Maybe this is a book that needs to be read, not heard. Maybe I just didn't get it. I don't know ... it just seemed so random, the story so scattered. The description doesn't really describe the true essence of the book, it's not just a charming, life in a small town disrupted by the death of a neighbor story.
Despite all of that, I was kept interested only by how well it was written. The best written non-story I've ever listened to. Nice descriptions and beautiful observations.
I'm glad it was only seven hours, though.
I've tried and tried to get into this book, but it just seems to endlessly ramble with descriptions of the characters in the town. While the descriptions are engaging, for the life of me I can't seem to find a story line to follow and find my condentration wandering in mid-listen. I'm really rather torn, since the characterizations are interesting, and in general I feel like I want to like it, but it continually falls short. Definitely not a read for everyone, buyer beware! Make sure to listen to the sample, at least it gives you an idea of what it's like. It doesn't get much more interesting than that. The rather drone-like tone of the narrator does little to help the situation.
The font on this library hardback is too small. I made it through the first chapter and it looks to be a good book. Put in a request for the large-print or audio version at the library. Requested that it be available to Kindle at Amazon. Hopefully, I can try this again someday.
Now, I have not only the large print hard cover edition from the library but I bought the Audible version with Shelly Frasier as narrator. The font on the hardback is larger, but the space between lines and lack of paragraph spaces still make this a hard read for me. So I listened more than read. Shelly has a nice voice and reads the story as I feel I would have in my head. It is a pleasant book. A pleasant story. But for the most part, I feel I have lived a life similar to this having lived in two small towns and been a member of numerous churches. Peyton Place. Gossip city. Mostly where I lost my hope for human kind.
I felt nothing for the characters. I felt no growth. I did like the dog and the cat. But felt Christopher Moore did a better job with the inner thoughts of a dog in The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. So the dog brought up the star rating to two stars.
I had hope. I kept waiting for the point. Then I started waiting for the death of the people as it seemed that was where the author was determined to go.
But my decision to raise this to three stars is the poetic prose. Kathryn Davis' descriptions are marvelous. I suppose if this were one of the only books in a cabin in the woods this would be great to read. With 3,000 books on my Kindle (or actually on my Calibre) to read this--well, I am glad to be on to some other read.
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