Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

You know when you start the book that it is not a story where the fairy tale ends happily, but you are compelled to finish it, reading it to the bitter end.  This is a thriller, a novel of first love, and a fairy tale.  It begins the day Anna finds a child's doll on the floor of the student lounge, and is surprised to have it claimed by Tannatek, otherwise known as "the Polish Peddler" - the school drug dealer that has  mysterious ice blue eyes.  She follows him to a University cafeteria and discovers that he cares for his six year old sister, Micha, a little girl with blonde braids in a pink jacket.  During dinner, she sits close by and listens to Abel spin Micha a fairy tale, telling a fantastic story of a little island queen with a diamond heart struggling to reach the mainland through a maze of enemies and danger, aided in her journey by a sea lion and a rose girl.  Anna, the daughter of two doctors, living a safe, comfortable, life becomes enamoured with Abel Tannatek, and his quest to keep his sister in his custody, and continues to seek him out despite the warnings she receives from friends, teachers, and her own reasonable self. She becomes more and more involved in the fairy tale, and the lives of Micha and Abel, until the lines of the distinction between the fairy tale and reality become one.  This is a book for mature teens or adults, and although not my typical read, it was darkly riveting.  The book does have violent scenes and sexual content.  One of my favorites reads so far in 2012.

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