So this finally came in the mail.
Perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated packages in a long time. Needless to say, I began reading it immediately.
At first, I was a little underwhelmed, perhaps because the lead up to this book by game-changing author Brian Selznick was so great. More lovely writing than The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I was told. A stunning achievement.
I loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret; I thought the writing was fine the story absolutely enchanting, transfixing. In other words, Wonderstruck had some pretty big shoes to fill and at first, it wasn’t happening.
Sure, the stories, the textual story about a boy in search of his father, the illustrated story about the girl, fifty years earlier, in search of a her mother, were interesting enough but there were no fireworks. Until. . .
The stories began to merge. The Museum of Natural History came into play in a big way with cabinets of oddities and allusions to the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Then there were the references to he 1964 World’s Fair, the Queens Museum and the panoramic replica of New York City that is housed there (I’ve stood before it in awe myself) and finally, the New York City blackout of 1977.
A children’s book, yes, but also a Generation X book if there ever was one, right up there with Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, about growing up in New York City in the ’70′s.
One smile of recognition after another.
People lost and people found. Yes, a beautiful symphony.
Read it, y’all.