Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: The Ostracism of Ophelia by Claire Fitzpatrick

The Ostracism of Ophelia by Claire Fitzpatrick is one of those novels that can make the reader feel more than simple sympathy for its heroes. It’s a story about pain and sorrow, hope and despair, love and forgiveness. And it’s also a story about crime and punishment.

Ophelia, William, Wren and Casper, the main protagonists, are damaged souls. They are young, they seem to have a bright future ahead of them, yet their everyday lives are bleak, bathed in despair, haunted by a past that just won’t let them make their dreams come true and fulfill their potential.

Good and evil seem to walk hand in hand in this story; no one is a really good person or a completely bad one. However, they are not ordinary in any way — they may do ordinary things every now and then, but that’s about it. What are they? They are young people who are trying hard to escape their demons, to travel like lucky Alice to Wonderland. Will they ever make it there? And if they do, how, and what will they find?

I wish that I could say that their story resembled a fairy tale, but it doesn’t. The heros live in a cruel world, and try to survive by taking difficult decisions and making hard choices. They read a bit, they play music, they take drugs, they hide in their secret garden and they create an unimaginable plot in order to escape their reality and also save one of them from her own self.

Sometimes their actions are cruel, and sometimes they are very kind; most of the times their bond seems unbreakable though every now and then they somehow drift apart. They look and act as if they belong together, but at the same time it seems that their meeting was not planned by some gods but rather by the devil. As the reader follows the paths of their lives, he finds himself in their shoes; he empathizes with them; he can feel their pain and he has no choice but to feel sorry for them.

If it wasn’t for the light touches of humour and the special moments of magic that can be found throughout the text this would be a bleak novel indeed. But instead this book is simply a great read. However, it’s not only the aforementioned elements that make it a good novel; it’s also the intricate plot and the well-crafted timeline, and finally the writing itself. Going through these pages one can find pure reading joy, and bathe himself in emotions; happy and sad. This is not a story for the fainthearted, but it is a story for those who have a big heart.

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