The Keening

Author: A. LaFaye
Pages: 224
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Format: Galley Copy (netgalley)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads)Born into a family with artistry in their fingers, Lyza laments that her only talent is carving letters into wood. That is until her life is turned upside down when her mother succumbs to the influenza pandemic of 1918, which is devastating their small coastal town in Maine. With her mother gone, Lyza must protect her eccentric father, who runs the risk of being committed, especially now that he claims he’s waiting for the return of his dead wife. Can Lyza save her father and find her own path in the process?


My Summary: The Keening was a great read! I read it all in one sitting, unable to stop myself from turning the pages, wanting to know what would become of Lyza and her father. 

My Summary: Lyza has always lived on a secluded cliff with her parents, whom she affectionately refers to as Mater (Mama) and Pater (Papa). Her mother is the glue that holds their family together, taking care of both Lyza and her eccentric father, who sometimes goes days without food as he carves life-like statues out of wood. Lyza has always been sheltered and loved, but she knows what people think of her family: they think her father is insane, and they all pity her mother for being married to a supposed 'psychopath'. 

When the flu pandemic of 1918 hits the town nearby, everyone becomes a target - including Lyza's mother. Within 10 hours of discovering she had a fever, Lyza and her father are burying the woman that loved them both more than anything. 

Now, left alone with her father, Lyza must find a way to keep her uncles from shipping him off to a work-farm, selling their house, and leaving her an orphan. But Lyza is not well herself - everytime she falls asleep, she sees visions of a boat floating on the surface of murky, black water, and she knows that it is somehow connected to her mother's death. Add to that the fact that her father is keeping a secret from her - an enormous secret that challenges everything she knew about her life.

My Thoughts: I thought the writing was really very good, but a lot of the story had a very rushed feel to it - I felt like if the author had taken more time to explain things, it would have made the novel a lot better. Also, the conflict is wrapped up pretty quickly, and this might not appeal to people who don't enjoy a religious aspect in their reading material... Other than those things, though, I thought it was a pretty solid story! I finished it all in one sitting, and I really like the way the author revealed little tidbits of information to you as the story went along instead of dumping all the information you needed into the first couple of paragraphs. 

Final Thoughts: All in all, I thought it was good, but I wouldn't purchase it myself... borrow it from the library, if the plot intrigues you! (It's pretty great, and you never know - you might like it a lot more than I did!)

1 comment:

  1. This does sound a bit intriguing. I like the religious aspect, so it might be worth me checking it out. Thanks for the review!


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