The Orphan’s Tale In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente

an orphan's take in the night garden

The Orphan’s Tale In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente

This is one of my all-time most favorite books on my personal list of books I love most. I recommended it to my local book club, thinking everyone would love it as much as I.  The reaction was decidedly “meh.” Some of the members dismissed it as “weird.”  No one else liked it.  The overwhelming verdict was “too strange and weird.”

I see that it is rated very high on Goodreads and it has won numerous awards.  So I stick with my initial opinion – this is a fabulous, wondrous, magical book.  It is beautifully written. It is light and poignant at the same time.  I love the author’s voice and vision.  I love her use of imagery.  I love the clever way she constructed the story as a tale within a tale.

This is a marvel of a book and I highly recommend it.  I’m not going to describe the plot or characters.  This is one of those books that is a total experience.  Thus my yapping about it at length will not enhance a reader’s experience.  You must dive in and read it….if you dare.

“Stories,’ the green-eyed Sigrid said, unperturbed, ‘are like prayers. It does not matter when you begin, or when you end, only that you bend a knee and say the words.”      …Catherynne M. Valente

“She who invented words, and yet does not speak; she who brings dreams and visions, yet does not sleep; she who swallows the storm, yet knows nothing of rain or wind. I speak for her; I am her own.” “You’ll forgive the flowery talk, won’t you? Our family does so love to be told they are beautiful. Vanity is an old and venerable habit.”      …Catherynne M. Valente

“The boy stared. He looked closely and he could see wavering lines in the solid black of her eyelid, hints of alphabets and letters he could not imagine. The closer he looked, the more the shapes seemed to leap at him, clutch at him, until he was quite dizzy.”     …Catherynne M. Valente