Thursday, May 06, 2010

Review: Madapple by Christina Meldrum

Book Description from Christina Meldrum’s Website:

The secrets of the past meet the shocks of the present. Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language—but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be.

When Aslaug's mother dies unexpectedly, everything changes. For Aslaug is a suspect in her mother's death. And the more her story unravels, the more questions unfold. About the nature of Aslaug's birth. About what she should do next.

About whether divine miracles have truly happened. And whether, when all other explanations are impossible, they might still happen this very day.

Addictive, thought-provoking, and shocking, Madapple is a page-turning exploration of human nature and divine intervention—and of the darkest corners of the human soul.

My Thoughts:

Madapple is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Aslaug grew up isolated from the truth about people and of life. Everything she knows and everything that she is came from her mother. After her mother’s sudden demise, she finds herself in a circle of questions. Thirsty for answers and fuelled by curiosity, she heads out to Bethan where she meets her aunt and cousins.

Meldrum takes readers into an unusual life injected with chunks of nature and mythology. As someone who loves reading about mythology, this was something that I thoroughly enjoyed. The unfolding of the story and of the truth with alternating chapters of Aslaug’s narration and of the court trial was extremely smooth and well-written.

With a perspective like no other, Aslaug comes naïve and curious about life and about her mother’s identity, as well as of her father. For years she has wondered about her father, spinning various tales that would explain his absence. When she starts living with her aunt and cousins, she gets an uncertain answer. This sliver of an answer will lead her to a controversy within the family. And as she stays with them, another unexpected event takes place, putting Aslaug in a bad situation that will awaken the devils and the angels within the people around her.

Aslaug’s story is so engaging that I found myself enjoying her one of a kind perception and reasoning and continuous wondering and questioning about life, and worrying when she was hurt. Her mother, aunt and cousins were well-developed characters, socially and psychologically speaking. Unexpected and shocking, the discovery of answers and the unravelling of the past caught me off guard.

Her relationship with her cousin Rune is a wild concoction of passion, connection and longing smeared onto the pages. Naturally sweet and talented, he gives Aslaug happiness, smile and laughter – gifts that are foreign to her after experiencing 15 years of isolation with her cold mother. Rune tells her that everyone has a cross to carry and that maybe her cross is her not knowing about her real father. As far as Aslaug and Sanne, Rune's sister, are concerned there's so much more to birth than what people of this world can ever rationally understand. Aslaug's birth was something that had me guessing and doubting and believing so many times that I've lost count. And deep into the story, I didn't know what to believe anymore. I didn't know what was right and logical anymore. Meldrum is a great author who wrote concepts that are hard to believe but that I found myself learning to believe. It was like a belief volleyball to me, my own mind whipping from one notion to the other.

Madapple is an intellectually enriching novel wherein life is weaved together with the influences of the divine and of the human understanding. Secrets and intentions tainted reality and painted a tattoo of emotions on truth like bloodroot on flesh. I've never read a novel like this that triggered so much thinking on my part.



  1. Fab review! I was thinking about buying this and probably will now! :D

  2. WOW WOW & WOW what an amazing review. I haven't heard of this one before but I will be adding it to my TBR list immediately.

  3. I definitely have to write this one down. I like all the combination of elements in this novel, and the review definitely makes me want to read it. THanks!

  4. I am sure I left a comment, maybe it got deleted???

    Anyways I was Wow'd by your amazing review and added it to my TBR list, thank you.

  5. Thanks guys! Yes, it's such a great read! Go grab a copy! :)

  6. Wow. I hadn't heard of this until you mentioned it to me and I wasn't quite expecting it to sound like such an incredible read. But I am 100% convinced I need to read this now. You had me at the first line! Great review!!

  7. I will definitely buy a copy of this! But I have to buy Angel Star first ^^

  8. Great review! I was a little on the fence about reading this one, but your review just changed my mind! It's going on my TBR :)

  9. I feel the need to find this book.