Free read ñ The Kings and ueens of Roam 102

Characters The Kings and ueens of Roam

Free read ñ The Kings and ueens of Roam 102 ↠ From the celebrated author of Big Fish an imaginative moving novel about two sisters and the dark legacy and magical town that entwine themHelen and Rachel McCallister who live in a town called Roam are as different as sisters can be Helen older bitter and conniving; Rachel beautiful naïve When their parents die an untimely death Rachel has to rely on Helen for everything but Helen embraces her role in all the wrong ways convincing Rachel that the world is a dark and dangerous place she couldn't possibly survive on her own or so Helen believes until Rachel makes a surprising choice that tur. During the five years I spent in college I was so bogged down by research and distorted by literary analysis that I only read one book for pleasure 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Maruez It took me three months to readthree long glorious months during which I absorbed every word as best I could Each page was its own separate novel each paragraph its own story as though Maruez weren't just writing about the Buendia family or the little town of Macondo but a history of everything that ever was or would be love birth death corruption perseverance illness strength joy war peace success failure The world was in that book something I recognized from the very first line and I lived in that world every day on the third floor of my campus library For almost an entire semester that book was my education; the rest was just distractionMaruez remains the master of magical realism that blend of the actual and the fantastical and very few writers have managed to strike that same balance with the same skill and effect In truth it would be foolish to try Daniel Wallace is one of the few writers today and perhaps one of the only American writers who embraces the magical and fantastic and their influence on the real with the same clarity as Maruez even if he's destined to stand forever in his predecessor's shadow Big Fish Wallace's first novel concerned a son whose only window into the life of his dying father is the old man's repertoire of strange unbelievable stories of a giant named Karl of a town where the people are kept from leaving by a Cerberus like dog of a massive snowfall that buries houses up to the roof of war and snakes and big uncatchable fish By the end of the novel the stories William Bloom so long dismissed as ridiculous become the stories he himself tells about his father a moment when the fantastic and the real become one in the sameNow fifteen years after the publication of Big Fish comes The Kings and ueens of Roam Set in a strange secluded area of the American wild an area filled with ravines bears wild dogs thieving vines and sudden downpours the story concerns the residents of Roam specifically two sisters as the town slips into ruin decades after its silk factory the only foundation of its economy has stopped producing The younger sister Helen is beautiful and blind while the older sister Rachel is ugly and sighted; Rachel is also vindictive towards Helen who relies on her for information about the world beyond her almost sightless eyes and in a moment of selfishness Rachel switches their faces with a sudden vicious lie Suddenly Helen thinks of herself as hideous and her sister as the epitome of beauty; when the townspeople compliment her on her looks Rachel tells Helen they are lying out of pity It is a momentary burst of anger and resentment that Rachel doesn't understand even as it's happening one due in part to the sudden deaths of both parents in a car accident some time before and in part because of Rachel's constant need to take care of Hannah but it causes Rachel to run from home and forces Hannah to examine just how deep her ugliness goesInterspersed with the story of Hannah and Rachel are other stories of the Roam's residents both past and present We learn how the small village was founded the kidnapping of a Chinese silk grower by an American man and how their partnership in business eventually became a friendship that was much like the sisters' based on little than selfishness and anger There is Smith the massive lumberjack who lives only for his dogs and never speaks; Digby a waist high bartender whose tavern is populated by the ghosts of dead citizens waiting for a home to open up in town; and Dr Beadles an aging man who finds the cure of all ailments in the water of a hidden river Each story on its own is a fascinating look at how Wallace crafts characters who are uniue individuals on their own but come together to create a foundation for the central themes of loneliness love and forgiveness It's these characters and themes that come together in the novel's closing moments and beautifully resolve not only the resentment felt between both sisters but also the entire tortured history of RoamWhile Wallace is no Maruez and has never claimed to be he is clearly indebted to the Venezuelan Nobel Prize winner nonetheless Just like Maruez's most famous novel Wallace's newest is populated by contrasts the giant lumberjack alongside the not a midget bartender; the young Hannah meeting the super centenarian Chinese silk spinner and kidnap victim; a city of the living now increasingly populated by the dead; Hannah's internal and external beauty alongside Rachel's internal and external ugliness; and so on Wallace also allows all of these contrasts and extremes to exist without undue attention That ghosts should not only haunt Roam but speak to the living sit in a bar and look for available real estate would normally be the focus of the author's distracting need to explain away every implausibility; for Wallace it's little than a natural part of this world and it adds to what would otherwise be a basic story of family arguments and personal discovery In fact it's these elements the fabulous and the normal so wonderfully mingled together that are the heart of the story Yes the relationship between Helen and Rachel dominates the novel as it should but each character hides a depth behind their hyperbolic facades that is its own rich story Their heartbreaks of wanting to love and be loved of wanting to be than just survivors in a literal ghost town normalize them in a way that no physical description ever could That their town should be called Roam named for the two founders' sojourn there though perhaps also an ironic nod to the historical empire is telling Not a single character who lives in Roam appears happy until they are joined with someone or something else a uiet tree feller and his dog a ghost and his house or a short bartender and a woman who loves him Or even two sisters one beautiful and one ugly Their reality is one of loneliness and it's only by searching by roaming that they find their own personal magicThis review was originally published at There Will Be Books Galore

Daniel Wallace ☆ 2 Characters

Ns both their worlds upside downIn this new novel Southern literary master Daniel Wallace returns to the tradition of tall tales and folklore made memorable in his bestselling Big Fish The Kings and ueens of Roam is a wildly inventive beautifully written and big hearted tale of family and the ties that bi. I made it through four discs then called it uitsThe problem I had was that to me this is a mediocre story made worse by the wrong readerThe book had originally intrigued me for many reasons It has a slightly magical description there's a cute little fairy house on the cover and most important it's about sisters I love stories about sisters From the first description of them though I was put off the oldest was apparently the most hideous child ever birthed so ugly that no one in town would even look at her That seemed weird to me I don't think I've ever seen a child so homely that I couldn't even look at it However her parents loved her so really why did she even notice at such a young age the actions of the townsfolk Shouldn't she have been secure in her place in the world because her parents didn't treat her like the ugliest child ever created Shouldn't it have taken her a whole lot longer to notice that everyone's eyes avoided her This isn't something she should have picked up on at what age threeBut whateverSeven years later her little sister Rachel comes along and this second child happens to be the most beautiful girl in town and probably the county Sadly a childhood illness strikes her blind and she has no idea she's stunningly lovely or that her sister is hideousSo we're starting out with a fairy tale and one that never sits well with me the ugly older sister and the fetching younger oneHelen the grotesue child hates her sister based solely on their outward appearances and takes to emotionally torturing little Rachel So now we have exterior facade matching interior motivation and the whole story is centered on looks jealousy and who can see which truths in which talesIt's also a broader family story pulling the past the story of the manipulative and abusive town founder toward the present Helen and Rachel via the relatives in between such as Helen and Rachel's parents This is fine lots of stories do this not a problemuntil other people start getting pulled in and now there are too many stories to keep up with stories that aren't necessary stories that could have been told somewhere within the context of the family line not as break out stories of their own This became a huge problem for me when I started to feel manipulated into appreciating the uirkiness of the RoamArcadia area; it felt forced these multiple perspectives of wacky people and their interchanges with other strange folk and so I stopped caringI might have trudged through the book letting it play in the background and not really paying attention had there been a different reader However this reader seemed to be maybe the worst possible choice She sounded to me as if she were reading this story while hiking up a mountain with a group of not very bright third graders The cadence of her speech was odd flowing at a conversational pace and then slowing down for SERIOUS ENUNCIATION then she'd start yelling words at randomthe speech patterns were similar to Captain Kirk's actually None of it made sense it didn't fit with the story and it distracted me to no end I'm turning this back in today and my ears will thank me for it on my drive home tonight

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The Kings and ueens of RoamFrom the celebrated author of Big Fish an imaginative moving novel about two sisters and the dark legacy and magical town that entwine themHelen and Rachel McCallister who live in a town called Roam are as different as sisters can be Helen older bitter and conniving; Rachel beautiful naïve – and blind. Roam a town found in the middle of the wilderness Once it was the home of a great silk factory built by Elijah McCallister When the silk worms stop producing the town slowly falls into disrepair as it's inhabitants slowly move awayHelen and Rachel McCallister are the great granddaughters of Elijah McCallister Orphaned when their parents perished in a car crash the girls live together in the home that their great grandfather built when the town was established Helen the eldest sister is ugly while Rachel is beautiful Helen is bitter and Rachel cheerfully naive Helen can see while Rachel is blind as a result of a childhood illness the girls are dependent on each other Helen believes that Rachel can not survive without her daily helpHelen's bitterness towards Rachel's beauty and the extra attention paid to her by their parents when they were alive leads to her uttering a lie one rainy afternoon when they were both children This lie leads Rachel to gow up believing the worst about herself and her town However when Helen taunts Rachel with her inability to survive on her own Rachel decides to prove Helen wrong What will happen to Rachel as she makes her way outside of roam what will go through Helen's mind when she realizes that Rachel is going to find out the truth that will change everything that she believes to be trueI am a fan of Daniel Wallace's books I was delighted to receive an inuiry if i would be interested in an advanced readers edition of his book I loved how the story alternated between Rachel and Helen's point of views and how their story alternated with that of the town's pastThis was written in a way that pulled me as the reader further into the setting rather than distracting from the main story It was wonderful to see how the story lines intertwined and the effect each had on the other I found myself drawn into the subtle weaving of magic and whimsy the story unfurls and if not for other obligations could have easily spent an afternoon reading the entire book