I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.
If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d like to link back to me that’d be great as I really try my best to include everyone who’s participating week by week at the bottom of my post so all my readers can enjoy all the awesome Throwback picks!
My Pick This week is….
Published March 4th, 2014
The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot.
Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners’ pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.
After reading (and loving) The Child Finder a couple weeks ago, I hightailed it to my library and grabbed The Enchanted, that’s how much I enjoyed Rene Denfeld’s writing! All I knew before starting this was that it involved death row and prison…two buzzwords that will always grab my attention…so I dived right in immediately. If I could only use one word to describe this book it would be haunting.
The story is narrated in the third person omniscient by one of the inmates on death row and this was the PERFECT way to tell this story. We also do get to hear from the lady, the warden and the priest but it’s all from an outside looking in perspective. The lady is there to investigate the case of York, an inmate scheduled for execution, but who may get off The Row if she finds enough evidence to convert his sentence.
Throughout the story we get an up close and personal look at life inside a prison and it’s not pretty people. I have a background in criminology and psychology and this book put both those concepts to the test. The author took so many themes…death row, putting children in adult prisons, compassion, vengeance, retribution, imagination…mixed it up and weaved a story that had me thinking and challenging my own views. This is by no means an easy read, on the contrary, it’s quite dark and difficult and at times I wanted to jump ahead because the images were too painful to read about…the white haired boy will forever haunt me…but this is how our criminal justice system operates and I wanted to challenge myself to really think about parts of this book. I absolutely loved the author’s use of books and their ability to transport an inmate to magical places outside of his physical cell as well as the mental cell he lived in. Now, whether he deserved the escape and temporary peace that reading and books brought him…that’s one of the morally gray questions readers are presented with. That and the ending…I was very much left surprised and wondering…”what would I do?”
Rene Denfeld’s writing is so magical and lyrical that I will be first in line for whatever she writes next!
**Sensitivity warning…there are what I call periphery scenes of rape, violence, and execution…meaning the scenes aren’t in your face overly graphic but you know exactly what’s happening**
More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…
Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe
Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews
Amanda at Literary Weaponry
Cathy at Between the Lines
Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills
Susan at Susan Loves Books
Cathy at What Cathy Read Next
Lynne at Fictionophile
Nicki atThe Secret Library Site
Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll
Sam at Clues and Reviews
Bill at Especially Books
Ann Marie at Lit Wit Wine Dine
Amy at NovelGossip
Annie at The Misstery
Stephanie at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction