- Release Date: January 1, 2011
- Pages: 352
- Publisher: Quirk Books
- Genre: Paranormal Historical
Jacob has always felt that his life was just ordinary, especially compared to the stories he heard from his grandfather about the halcyon days and Peculiar children during World War II. But these strange stories are just stories though, right? After the traumatic death of his Grandfather, Jacob begins to see things– things that can’t possibly be real. Soon, Jacob finds himself traveling to the small island of Carinholm, Wales, the place of his Grandfather’s stories, where he discovers the past and present may not be that far apart at all.
In this novel. a picture really is worth one thousand words! This book features 50 real vintage photographs used to help tell the story. Some of the photos are from Riggs’ personal collection some from other collectors. From what I understand putting images in books can be quite pricey and I love that Quirk took the risk and it certainly paid off with this book being an NYT bestseller.
The images used to help tell the story were collected at flea markets, yard sales, etc and the idea of using the mismatched, unknown (dare I say peculiar) images gives the book a touch of the surreal. However, at times the images hurt the book. There would be a description of an image that you know is going to be on the next page and the description felt a little forced, and I wonder how the book would stand without them.
I don’t want to give to much away about the story, but what I really enjoyed about this book was its great sense of setting. Jacob gets a real feel for the present and past (wink wink) of what island life can be like. I’m starting to realize I kind of have a thing for books that takes place on small (non-tropical) islands like Burn for Burn or We Were Liars.
Riggs has created a world with danger, hope, and mischievousness. His mythology is fun and so solid I thought it was based on something real. This novel is an origin story, so I’m curious to see what Jacob and his newfound friends get up to in the sequel. Since the photos were hit or miss for me (I’ll admit some of them were a bit to odd for me) I will probably check out the audiobook of Hollow City, which is done by a Books and Sensibility favorite, Kirby Heyborne.