Friday, June 3, 2011

Madapple by Christina Meldrum

Madapple by Christina Meldrum
404 pages

Never thought I would get through this book. It is heavy in science, botony, religion, incest, drug on for me for ages. Now, if you can wade through that, you would love this had a very promising story line.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Aslaug lives in isolation; the flowers and plants that her mother, Maren, uses to make their lives possible are more real to her than the outside world. Then Maren dies, and Aslaug makes her way to the nearby Maine town, where she finds her aunt Sara and teenage cousins Susanne and Rune. Aslaug hopes they will have a clue to her father’s identity; she learns, as readers already have, that Maren proclaimed Aslaug a virgin birth. Aunt Sara, a charismatic preacher, wants none of this. But Susanne, enthralled with the writings of esoteric religionists and pagans, believes this is a possibility, while Rune is just enthralled with Aslaug herself. Then Aslaug finds herself pregnant, and divine intervention is once more a possibility. Plot summary does little justice to this haunting book, which is as much mysticism as it is story. Meldrum plunges deeply into the nature of reality. She uses language in a particularly arresting way, with the leaves and petals of the plants that are so much a part of Aslaug’s life shimmering over the pages. If all this wasn’t satisfaction enough, Meldrum, a litigator, mixes faith and science with a solid mystery, told in the transcripts of a trial in which Aslaug is the defendant. There is much to ponder in this enthralling achievement from a debut author. Grades 9-12. --Ilene Cooper

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