A mysterious, transdimensional library that sends its librarians to alternate Earths to procure rare books? Brilliant! A clever, witty librarian and her new assistant, who is clearly hiding something, sent to find a collection of Brothers Grimm fairy tales? Cool! A steampunk/gaslight fantasy alternate Earth that operates along the lines of narrative drama and comes complete with sharp-as-tacks consulting detective and a host of conspiratorial secret societies? Wonderful! Faeries, dragons, and weird magic? Fantastic!
What would you do if your house was falling into the ocean, you had just lost your job, and your long-lost sister appeared out of thin air from the circus? Well, if you are Simon, you would become entranced with an old, worn-out book that was mysteriously left on your doorstep. Convinced that his sister is doomed to die in a couple of weeks and that there is something off about his dead mother's relationship with his neighbor, he tries his hardest to follow the clues laid out in this book in order to save his family (past and present).
When I first picked up this book I figured that it would be all about the cat. Of course, much of it was, but there is a lot more to this book. The author, Vicki Myron, also writes about her own life, with its trials and tribulations, ups and downs. In so doing, she paints a picture of life in a small midwestern town. Most of the book takes place in Spence, a little town in northwest Iowa, in the midst of farming country.
You might remember my appreciation for last year's Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. She has a graphic novel coming out this fall called The Night Bookmobile and I think it looks every bit as mysterious and wonderful as her last book.