*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Blood Fable
Author: Oisín Curran
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In 1980, New Pond, a utopian Buddhist community on the coast of Maine is on the verge of collapse. New Pond’s charismatic leader demands complete adherence to his authority, and slowly, his followers come to the realization that they’ve been exploited for too long. The eleven-year-old son of one of those adherents is dimly aware of the concerns of the adult world. Yet his imagination provides a refuge both from the difficulties of his parents’ lives–including his mother’s newly discovered cancer–and from the boredom and casual brutality of school. To distract his parents and himself from their collective troubles, the boy claims to remember his own life before birth–an epic tale about the search for a lost city made up of the boy’s own experiences refracted through the lens of the adventure stories he loves. As the world around them falls apart, the boy and his parents find that his strange story often seems to predict the events taking place in the world around them.
Blood Fable is an excellent work of metafiction which shares two stories: a boy and his parents living in a utopian Buddhist community in the United States whose world is beginning to collapse around the, and the story that he weaves for his parents in the form of visions that they record as the “visions” come to him in bursts. It’s a complex story that speaks to the unravelling of an idealistic community as those with power begin to take advantage of their situation and take advantage of their authority over those of lesser status. It also address the escapist principles of fantasy and epics stories and how they are reflections of our own lives, but also provide opportunities to be free of reality on occasion.
This story is strange, compelling, and unique. The main character is young enough to escape the politics of adult life and to be able to view his situation with an open mind to see things as they really are, but he is old enough to recognize the happiness and reverence that his story brings to his parents. He is also old enough to recognize the many things that are off about his community and to know when his parents are trying to hid something from him. His story is creative and parallels the turmoil and struggles in his own life. The world he invents is absurd and ever changing but if offers the reader a lot of insight into his own inner feelings and his own need to find refuge from the many points of stress in his world.
I loved this book! It’s something a little different and it’s incredibly well-written.