A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage is a historical novel, a mystery novel, a coming of age tale, a picaresque adventure, a character study of what we might now call Asperger's Syndrome, all woven into a lyrical text that tells of both love and horror with a quiet, insistent beauty. Youmans gives us a hero in Pip who is as mysterious to others at first as they are to him, and gradually layers back his oddities like onionskin until he connects with, tentatively at first, and badly often, first one person and then another, and comes at the end to a place he fits, where the people fit him.
A beautiful novel, one to read more than once.
|Beth Adams has a post about Thaliad |
and the Clive Hicks-Jenkins cover here.
Update, later in the day: Now a third page! Here.
Clive has put up a second page of preparatory work for the cover of Thaliad here. I am pleased that he likes it; I suppose "work of staggering beauty and imagination" hardly counts as an unbiased review, coming from a friend and collaborator, but it's sweet all the same.
I need to hie me to my guest room and read for the NBA-YPL award. We already have around fifty books, though the big sluice is July and August. Despite having been away doing book events in North Carolina and then a conference in Pennsylvania, I'm not too far behind the others on the panel. However, I am feeling tired. Just now I posted "Send substance. Worn thin" on facebook and immediately received many poems, e-chocolate (not nearly as good as the genuine article but friendly), a striated e-rock, and new moon songs. I think those things all good advice and shall read a poem or two and eat some chocolate before I toss myself into the fray.