Friday, June 27, 2008

Mock Printz: Madapple by Christina Meldrum

Title: Madapple
Author:Christina Meldrum
Madapple is strange and exotic, perhaps a little too strange and exotic. Aslaug lives a highly isolated life with her mom, a fundamentalist and herbologist. Aslaug is home-schooled, spending all of her time with her mother. When her mother unexpectedly dies, Aslaug is exposed to society when she is accused of poisoning her mother. When authorities perform the autopsy, they learn the woman had cancer. That first brush with the law sets up the main suspense of the book. Aslaug searches for her father, even though her mom claims it was a virgin birth. Aslaug discovers her real family composed of two cousins and an aunt/pastor. From them she learns more of her origins. Eventually she gets pregnant herself by her cousin and "herbs" snuck into her food. The dream-like quality of the time with her cousin makes her think that her pregnancy is virginal also. Eventually she is accused of killing her other cousin and aunt. To cite the occurrences in this book sound very far-fetched but the book is written so well and paced so beautifully that it is captivating. The structure of the book is alternating chapters between the murder trial and the story behind it. This framework makes it very suspenseful and the writing itself is good. Ultimately the book is about incest and drugs and sets up a conflict between religion/mythology and then plays around with different realities. Who knew all this could exist in a Young Adult novel. Although I enjoyed the book while reading it, the values are odd, the content is peculiar....There is a lot of Danish mythology...

Susan Rappaport, Rutherford Public Library

1 comment:

BookWyrm said...

I don't know. Usually, I love the wierd and different books, even the structure of jumping chapters doesn't bother me most of the time. Madapple though missed the mark for me.

It was too strange and too disconnected. One person I know who read it thought it was in an alternate reality. She didn't recognise modern america in it at all.

Personally, I found myself frustrated by the chapters jumping. As soon as I could get into the backstory it was jumping ahead to the trial again. It didn't confuse details, but I found myself skipping the trial chapters and reading more of the backstory. Then every 4-5 chapters, I'd go back and read the skipped sections.

An interesting book, but I'm not sure if it was a successful one.