Friday, January 4, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days

This is the latest book from Shannon Hale. She tends to write YA fiction and they are really good. My brother-in-law Rob gave me two of her books last year for Christmas and I've enjoyed them and bought more. She must be popular in Moab because our library has kept up with her stuff and gets them fairly quickly.
It was very strange when I first read them because I know Shannon, sort-of. We went to high school together and I know her husband as well. It makes you reappraise your life when someone you know does something remarkable, like write and publish really good books. But that was last January, I'm over it now, mostly. But I've decided that writing books is something you do because you can't not do it, like some people feel about music, and how I feel about reading. I'm just lucky that there are a lot of people who feel that way so I can feed my own compulsion. I don't write, though some have asked why I don't, because I don't need to and right now a lot of other thing get in the way. Maybe when my time is more my own I will feel more of a need and can do more. This blog is hard enough to keep up.
Book of a Thousand Days is a adapted fairy tale. That actually made me shy away from it at first. I'm not to fond of that kind of book. Wicked and all those books I tried and didn't make it through. So many of them are either too cutesy or have gone all the way the other direction and made it so depressing and dark I can't read it, ex. Tanith Lee. This was done very well, with the characters feeling like real people and though you could tell how the story was going to end, you still wanted to read it to find out how they get there.
One thing I particularly liked was how she handled the character's faith. Not as a point of doubt, and not as a curiosity, but with the simplicity of it being one part of her character and a part of her life. Something much more like the faith I know than the overblown fanaticism or gnawing doubt that is more common in fiction. I appreciate that when I find it.

Book of a Thousand Days. Shannon Hale. Bloomsbury. 2007

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