Thursday, December 1, 2011
The Diviner's Tale - Bradford Morrow
The Diviner's Tale, Bradford Morrow, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011
Cassandra Brooks, a diviner of water, is used to being a bit of an outsider in her community. Her unusual talent for finding water below the ground, her non-traditional family, and a tragic incident in her past have always set her apart. When she comes across the body of a young woman hanging in the woods, Cassandra finds herself caught up in a terrible crime. In order to help, Cassandra must accept that she is more than a diviner of water - she must embrace her connection to the spiritual world and divine her own soul on the way to divining the truth.
The Diviner's Tale beautifully combines the suspense and tension of a supernatural thriller with the prose of literary fiction. I loved this book, but noticed there was a range of opinions on this one - I suspect because some readers may have gone into it expecting something different. The Diviner's Tale is not a fast paced, high-action thriller. But if you enjoy a story that unfolds slowly, richly, and thoughtfully with as much emotion and character as plot, you might be enchanted. The novel is as much about Cassandra's inner journey as it is about the mystery of the girl in the woods and the threat to Cassandra and her family. I adored Cassandra- I thought she was smart, complicated, capable, and incredibly compassionate, with hearty dose of mama grizzly. The story gave me goosebumps, and I couldn't put it down.
Thank you to Lisa Riley Emig for sending me her personal copy of The Diviner's Tale.
Lisa Riley Emig's (far superior) review of The Diviner's Tale on The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog
My review of Bradford Morrow's excellent new short story collection The Uninnocent on LitStack