Published by Algonquin Books on April 21st 2015
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The crowds keep coming. More and more every day it seems . . . drawn by rumor and whisper and desperate wish. Somehow they heard about the little girl on Shaker Street. They come to see eight-year-old Anabelle Vincent, who lies in a comalike state--unable to move or speak. They come because a visitor experienced what seemed like a miracle and believed it was because of Anabelle. Word spread. There were more visitors. More miracles. But is there a connection? And does it matter?
Set against the backdrop of the approaching millennium--with all its buzz about reckoning and doom--this impressive debut novel is narrated by Anabelle herself; by her devoted mother, who cares for her child while struggling to make sense of the media frenzy surrounding her; by Anabelle’s estranged father, who is dealing with the guilt of his actions; and by the people who come seeking the child’s help, her guidance, and her healing. Yet it tells a larger cultural story about the human yearning for the miraculous to be true, about how becoming a believer--in something, anything, even if you don’t understand it--can sustain you.
This is the quote that got me…
“Roe creates characters who feel real, who are beautiful and flawed and full of desire and regret and love and pain. He brings us into a world where terrible things happen to ordinary people and it’s hard not to want a miracle girl to save them. And, because we recognize this world, we want that miracle girl to be real, to save us, too” —Flagstaff Live
And maybe that was the problem.
I did not find the characters felt real, or beautiful, or full of desire, regret, love or pain. I found the characters to be quite flat, and boring, and predictable.
Ugh, and it hurts my heart a little to say that.
I don’t usually do “bad reviews”. And I guess this isn’t a bad review per se, but it’s not a great one. I actually finished the book, which is more than I can say for a lot of books lately. 🙂 And it wasn’t a bad book… it was just kind of there. The story was told, I wasn’t super impressed or invested, but I kept reading. I wasn’t very surprised by the “twist” at the end, it seemed like a fairly predictable twist. I even felt a little sad by the way the author chose to end this book… sad in “really… that’s the way you’re going to end this?”. It felt a little pat, and yes, again, predictable.
But you know, I’ve not liked quite a few books EVERYONE loved! Like The Girl on the Train, and Furiously Happy, and Then She Found Me… do I need to go on? Maybe I’m just a weird duck. I don’t know, but I do know this book didn’t grab me, I had to really talk myself into sitting down to read it, and once, I fell asleep in the middle of a chapter. 🙁
But hey, maybe that’s just me. There are tons and tons of people who LOVED this book… just look at the reviews!
Have you read The Miracle Girl? What did you think? Did you love it or was it “meh” for you too? Stop by the Happy Place Book Club and tell us all about it. Details to join below!