The Twisted Tree, by Rachel Burge
This book has been sitting on my shelf for about thirteen months, just gathering dust, and, to be honest, it will probably resume its position soon. I liked it, but - how do I put this delicately - there are other books I would enjoy more.
The beginning of this book wasn't particularly enamouring to me. Ms. Burge didn't really utilise any narrative hooks, and her choice of tense was, in my opinion, poorly chosen (although many will disagree; I probably just don't like the present tense in novels). I would probably go to the extent of saying that the first three or four chapters were incredibly boring. I thought I could see the ending a mile
off. At one point, I considered putting the book down, but the plot outlined in the blurb was just far too intriguing.
Essentially, Martha can read emotions and memories from items of clothing. She decides to travel to Norway to find her Grandmother (or 'Mormor', in Norwegian), only to find she has died and some boy is living in her cabin. We've established the beginning is dull, but the whole narrative takes a turn when she reaches her Mormor's cabin, and I was just suddenly gripped. So gripped, I didn't even notice until I started hyperventilating. Everything becomes mythological and fantastical. Old Norse legends and myths come into it, and I was simply fascinated.
This was when the author's skill came into play. Rachel Burge was quite fantastic when it cam to suspense, and nearly so with the horrific aspects. It wasn't just the writing, that was okay, but the plot was just amazing. Influenced by viking mythology, but she had also imprinted her own interpretations, and there were also small, quirky little details that I enjoyed. I give this one 7.5/10.
Trigger Warnings: grief, death